So, Mr Steve Jobs of Apple, Inc took to the stage at All Things Digital’s D8 event earlier in this week, and actually had some interesting things to say about the way Apple views the world, their clashes with Google and Adobe, and the relationship between the iPad and iPhone.
Jobs, Blogs and Media Money
However, my eyebrow did a Roger Moore-esque twitch [at this](http://d8.allthingsd.com/20100601/steve-jobs-session/):>
“I don’t want us to see us descend into a nation of bloggers,” says Jobs. “I think we need editorial oversight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for.”
There have been some good rebuttals of his financial arguments, of which [Mathew Ingram’s is probably the best](http://gigaom.com/2010/06/02/steve-jobs-is-wrong-the-itunes-model-wont-help-media/). But it’s the first half of the quote that surprised me: the dismissal of bloggers. On reflection, though, it shouldn’t have, for a number of reasons. For one, it’s clearly being used as shorthand for the difference between professional news-gatherers and the amateurs, rather than a dismissal of blogging as a method of publishing *per se*. We know that [Jobs reads Daring Fireball](http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/2010/04/steve-jobs-response-on-section-3-3-1/), for a start. For another, Apple’s recent run-ins with a blogger over an, uh, misplaced iPhone 4G are [well documented](http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/apr/19/gizmodo-paid-iphone-4g).
However, I think it’s deeper than that. Apple is a company founded on the idea of control – they control news about their new products ruthlessly. They control the user experience of people using their devices. They control the very hardware that the user experience is found on. Apple’s success is predicated on control. They are, in the parlance of online journalism discussion, gatekeepers. And thus it’s no surprise that Jobs values the gatekeeping function of newspapers over the free-for-all open debate of the web.
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Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.