The LA Times today has a Page 1, Column 1 article on journalist/blogger Michael Yon.
It’s an interesting ‘personality’ article about him; not very deep or analytical – and not much news that those who haven’t followed him in the blogs won’t know.
Pretty unexceptional, I’d say.
Then again, there’s the headline.
Lone Gun in War Reporting
Michael Yon’s blog made him a hero among backers of the effort in Iraq. As his profile grew, so did debate on the quality of his work.
Boy, you’d think the story would go deeply into the wide-ranging debate on the specific quality of his work.
Instead, we get the Carl Prine quote that was widely circulated around the blogs:
“As someone who has seen a great deal of combat in my life and who earns his daily bread as a reporter,” Prine opined on the Internet, “I can assure you that a lot of what Michael Yon writes is misleading, inaccurate and vapid.”
That’s it; that’s the sum of the debate we’re shown in the article.
Look, I know that the author didn’t write the headline, and the article is interesting, if incomplete – there are two fascinating points left untouched by the writer: First, if Yon is the “the reporter of choice for many conservatives and supporters of the war,” what does it say about the gulf between war supporters and opponents and the ways that they look at news? Next, what does it say about the future of journalism that a free agent like Yon can begin to make a living reporting outside the envelope of the media organizations like the Times?
But the headline – and it’s slam on Yon – would be less annoying if the pattern of slams in the Times didn’t lean so clearly in one direction. I’ll sit back and wait for the reaction from Patterico…
I’m thinking hard about this:
From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings.
I’ll have more to say about this – and it’s relation to the Cartoon War – in a bit.