In a very entertaining op ed piece today entitled “All the Aggregation That’s Fit to Aggregate,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller (pictured) winds his way to what the AOL-Huffington Post deal portends for the future of journalism.
The headline is of course a wink to the famous slogan of his own newspaper. He bemoans “the American Idol-ization of the news”, or tendency of major outlets to allow Twitter trends to dictate the focus of online coverage. He also shares a hilarious Arianna Huffington anecdote:
I once sat beside her on a panel in Los Angeles (on — what else? — The Future of Journalism). I had come prepared with a couple of memorized riffs on media topics, which I duly presented. Afterward we sat down for a joint interview with a local reporter. A moment later I heard one of my riffs issuing verbatim from the mouth of Ms. Huffington. I felt so… aggregated.
Keller getting shamelessly Post-erized by Huffington… It says as much about old journalism vs. new journalism as it does about her shameless ambition.
Update – 03/10/11: Huffington responds to Keller’s personal aggregation accusation, detailing how she had expressed similar “convergence” thoughts long before the April 28th, 2010 Milken Institute sponsored panel discussion and subsequent joint interview the two gave to Patt Morrison.