Yes, we need to darken the line between what is verifiable and what is hearsay. The financial downturn and its disastrous impact on print publishing has led some to think we can do without trained reporters and editors–professionals who know how to check facts and strip the gloss off hasty pronouncements. We need this work, perhaps now more than ever. But not at the expense of silencing the new voices–an exciting new crop of self-possessed scribes–ringing all over our screens. There may be too much, but that does not mean it is unworthy.
Many would agree with me that content aggregated on Kottu today, while more varied than two to three years ago, is qualitatively poorer. Some of it is rank drivel, suggesting that the democratisation of publishing is also, too often, the production of content of very limited value at best. Well written esoteria have their niche audiences, but the proliferation of bad writing questions Trubeck’s assertion that “it is easier to cultivate a wide audience for tossed off thoughts has meant a superfluity of mundane musings, to be sure. But it has also generated a democracy of ideas and quite a few rising stars, whose work we might never have been exposed to were we limited to conventional publishing channels.”