The rhetoric of DIY and participatory journalism as expressed through weblogs often ignores the pervasiveness of existing institutions, practices, and (media) rituals. Especially in terms of media and democracy (people as consumers and citizens), 'hasty' theorization of blogging and other aspects of Web culture ignore what Michael Schudson (UC San Diego) has called the distinction between informed citizens who have access to a lot of information, and citizens who indeed have access to the resources needed to make sense of all that information. If everyone gets to say something, does that intrinsically mean society is better off?

Quoting an earlier (04.06.1998) but representative paper of Schudson: "We are not going to have a democracy without expertise, nor should we want to. We are not going to have a democracy without a variety of institutions that mediate between private individuals and public governing bodies, nor should we. But we do have and will have continuing discussions about a wired nation as if every citizen could be and should be his or her own expert and could and should communicate directly with political representatives without benefit of mediating institutions. That talk will get us nowhere."

Enough to think about this weekend.