The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Cone calls on Skube about irresponsible article on blogs

That’s a long post title by my standard, but it gets the lede out. The story of the story is that Michael Skube, now teaches at Elon, wrote an article on the badness of blogs for the Greensboro News and Record. In the course of the article–according to Cone–(the article is unposted), Skube admits not ever reading blogs (who has time? he asks. perhaps some one who writes about blogs should make time, says i), doesn’t differentiate between say an Ed Cone and a teenager on Xanga, and decries that bloggers aren’t professional (some are, Michael). All in all, it seems from the Cone report and the comments following that Skube rehearsed some common complaints without doing any personal research.

Cone called Skube and talked with him. Ed’s report on the conversation is even odder still. Well, not Ed’s report itself but the conversation that is reported by Ed. Skube confirmed that he didn’t know that the News and Record is nationally famous for the blogging there. He didn’t know of any bloggers by name save Andrew Sullivan. He hadn’t read any. All in all, pretty embarassing for a journalism prof at Elon and a Pulitizer Prize winner at that.

I’m hoping that the News and Record will post the article soon. In the meantime, the posts and comments at Ed’s blog will have to do.

In an interesting coincidence of timing, News and Record Editor John Robinson calls student interviewers to task for nearly the same crimes as are committed by Skube. One crucial section:

Most recently, I’ve been interviewed via e-mail and telephone by professional journalists and university students. The topic: blogging. Inexplicably, they hadn’t actually read my blog or our other blogs. It didn’t appear that they had even done the easiest research on Google.

Sue Polinsky of Sue’s Place
also had a blog article in the same edition of the News and Record. Although she calls her writing a rant; it’s a good read and she knows of what she speaks.


  1. Thanks for the ping, Paul. I remember vividly Michael Bowen’s flash of recognition when I pointed you out at ConvergeSouth and said, “He’s Sunsite at UNC where you gophered back in the day.” There was the momentary double-take and then he got up from lunch and went over to shake your hand.

    As I blogged, I knew what Skube was going to write (generally) and I couldn’t believe it. Truly, it was coincidence; he wasn’t asked to write on that topic. Had he used a slightly different tone, it *could* have been, well, cute. But he didn’t; it wasn’t. But it’s still making a great conversation.

  2. Paul

    12/5/2005 at 9:38 am

    I hope to actually read the Skube article some day. It’s hard to defend or object to it with only the good but incomplete notes from readers — and the good reporting from Ed.
    I enjoyed your article too.

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