Since 1896, when the Ochs-Sulzberger family took over the ownership of the New York Times, a curious little motto has been printed on the masthead of what is arguably the United States’ most influential daily newspaper. “All the News That’s Fit to Print” is a statement of both arrogance and intent of this historic journalistic medium.
But a lot has changed since 1896. For that matter, a lot has changed since 1996. Enter the Internet, and from the Internet has grown the blogosphere. The blogosphere is a rather crude title for the arena in which citizen journalists now have access to a huge readership that trolls through cyberspace, landing on websites and blogs like bumblebees landing on daisies. Internet visitors scurry from site to site with attention spans that make a hamster look like a three-toed sloth. Often driven to their destinations by the monster search engines owned by Yahoo and Google, some stay for a few seconds. Others perch and hang out for hours. With a few well-placed words in the Google box, we can find history, background, news, gossip, and garbage on anyone or anything in just a few mouse clicks.