Van Thillo: "Bloggers Are The Garbage Of The Web"

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(I originally wrote this post for TechCrunch but figured it’s not worth lending these two gentlemen more credibility by publishing on a widely read platform.)

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with what Christian Van Thillo, CEO of one of the largest media concerns in Belgium and co-director of multiple television, radio and print media holdings, and his partner in crime Bernard Marchant (Rossel Group) had to say about the future of media at a recent get-together at a fancy Brussels hotel hosted by the Belgian Marketing & Management Association.

Asked about what they think about the future of dead tree print media, Marchant for one spewed out the same old bullshit that’s been coming out of the mouths of his colleagues from all over the world for years now:

“I continue to defend paper. Paper is unique. It’s a daily medium and easy to use. You won’t see media printed on paper disappear in the next 20 years.”

For the record, I agree that printed media won’t complete evaporate any time soon, but the notion that paper has any advantages over say, news delivered via the Web, because it’s ‘unique’ and ‘easy to use’ is downright hilarious. But ok, the man is merely defending his ground. I’m even willing to overlook the fact that he said Google has absolutely nothing to do with the content business and that the company doesn’t in any way affect his profession. Reality can be hard to spot, sometimes.

Van Thillo went with a different strategy and chose to attack bloggers in public. After stating that a recent survey fortunately-for-him showed that people were definitely willing to pay for content online (good luck with that), he was asked for his thoughts on the future of the journalist métier. His response:

“We have to get back to the basics. Reporters are well paid and thus are expensive to us. News is what is new to people and not the actual facts. Our job is to separate the uncommon from the common, to place emphasis on what’s exception and use the rest as efficiently as possible. That’s why bloggers are not journalists but merely the garbage of the web.”

Which makes me wonder how that makes the dozens of bloggers the man employs feel about that.

I sure know how I feel about it: enormously indifferent.

(Via NewsUp – in Dutch)

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6 thoughts on “Van Thillo: "Bloggers Are The Garbage Of The Web"

  1. Actually I don’t think that the perspective of print media being "easy to use" is wholly inaccurate. You are judging that comment as someone who is deeply steeped in technology, uses myriad platforms and devices and can adeptly maneuver throughout. I swim in the same pool.That said, we are not the norm. One day we shall be, yes. And the momentum is moving that direction, but it is foolhardy, I think to forget that in this country alone there are many many many people for whom opening their local paper on their doorstep *is* their gateway to information. (Well, that and watching their local news on TV or listening to the radio.)

  2. @Facebook User: times are a-changing my friend, and fast.I hate arguments that are based on the assumption that there are ‘many many many’ people who are not as ‘advanced’ as we are. It’s the same thing as saying the Internet hasn’t really broken through because so many people on the globe haven’t yet enjoyed access to broadband yet.

  3. My pet peeve these days is what he says about separating common from uncommon… or to say it otherwise; they decide what news we get. If you read a few newspapers or watch different news on television you will see what I mean. It is also about which sponsor they want to show, political or commercial. Internet is freedom for all !All of this does not change my opinion on the man, just confirms it.

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