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The Steve Jobs Intel Question Guy

11 August 2007

Bob Keefe, a correspondent for Cox Newspapers, has taken a lot of heat for a stupid question. Stupid question? Yeah, I think it probably was, too (because who didn’t already know the answer?), but how many of you have a direct quotation from Steve Jobs for a news article you’re working on? And a great quotation, at that? Kind of like wearing high-waters to school all day to win the $100 award for dorkiest outfit. It might have sounded dumb, but it got the asker exactly what he needed for his piece.

As for the journalist thing (Keefe uses quotation marks around the word journalist to refer to Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber), there is a fundamental difference between a journalist who is self-employed, and a journalist who’s been validated by the hiring and editorial processes. But they’re both journalists. Doesn’t necessarily make one better than the other — Gruber’s got some chops that a lot of newspaper folks don’t — but I think most readers (especially those who don’t live and breathe blogs) are used to the level of comfort they get by believing that there’s an editorial process (fact-checking, copy-editing, etc.) behind the ink on the paper, and adherence to the ethics code of Sigma Delta Chi. Sadly, that editorial process and those ethics ain’t what they used to be, and that’s further served to blur the lines between citizen journalism and the Fourth Estate.

(Cox Newspapers owns seventeen dailies, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Palm Beach Post, as well as twenty-six weeklies/pennysavers around the US.)

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