Vol. 5, Issue 4, May 15, 2007
Education for the Otiose

Blogosphere Kicked Out of Fourth Estate

Following a strong reactionary surge, the blogosphere was officially ejected from the Fourth Estate by irate newspaper publishers over the weekend.

"We've had enough of their half-cocked, abbreviation-laden, vapidly inflammatory musings," fumed Harvey Carmichael, of Gannett News Publishers. "Blogs have been deriding the traditional news media for long enough. If they think so little of us, they can jolly well go it alone."

The move surprised many who saw online news as the wave of the future, and anticipated a closer rapprochement between newspapers and the World Wide Web over time.

"Virtually all newspapers make their content available online," noted Fred Klein of the University of Southern California based Online Journalism Review. "Hard-copy subscriptions are flagging across the board, and we've seen efforts to add editorial blogs to many mainstream newspaper sites. I guess the romance is over, though. And it's anyone's guess where the blogosphere will go now."

Estates one through three have categorically rejected the idea of taking in the bloggers.

"Well, the First Estate, which in the U.S. is primarily Hollywood based, has always had a strong aversion to the blogosphere's power to spread rumors beyond their control," said Klein. "It's much easier for a star to manipulate gossip columnists preparing set pieces for Page Six than scores of bloggers with access to embarrassing cellphone camera photos. And as for the Second - forget that. 'Blog' is really a four-letter word for most members of the Second Estate, especially since the Scientologists joined and demonstrated the benefits of controlling your media message."

Many speculate that the blogosphere will ultimately end up back in the Third Estate, from which most bloggers emigrated in the first place. However, this estate is predominantly populated by parents paying the bills for the bloggers, who may be less than sympathetic.

"Oh, sure, his Blogspot account is free," said Jane Fender, a card-carrying member of the Third Estate. "But my son's broadband connection, which he uses to access the account, is not. And I for one think it is time he quit updating his six readers about his daily Dorito consumption and favorite YouTube finds, got out of the damn basement, and landed a job."

Faced with exile from the existing Estates, some bloggers have begun a petition to initiate a Fifth Estate, though there is considerable disagreement about how and who will pay for it.

"I've heard estate taxes are pretty bad too," opined "Gr8 Girl 8" on her eponymous blog, which focuses primarily on discussions of anime hairstyles. "I think we'll stick with the Fourth Estate. They can't get rid of us that easily! ;)"

Bookmark and Share