Dan Gillmor: I just got an e-mail PR pitch for a company that’s monitoring online discussions on behalf of corporate clients. Here’s part of the pitch:

“(PR client) is a market intelligence and media analysis services firm. (PR client) is working with F1000 companies who are using our services to Manage and Monitor Digital Influencers (such as blogs, message boards, user groups, complaint sites, etc.) as an intelligence and threat awareness tool. (Person’s name), CEO could talk to you about ‘What F1000 Companies are doing to take action against bloggers’ and ‘How companies are taking steps to protect their corporate reputations from bloggers/digital influencers.'”

This is a remarkably myopic view of the blogosphere, but it reflects what I frequently hear from PR folks. The new world isn’t about managing bloggers. It’s about working with them, having a conversation with them.

Meanwhile, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry longs for the olden days when we journalists were the gatekeepers of news. What he sees as a dreadful problem looks more to me like a chance for professionals to do a better job.

No doubt, what’s happening is messy. That makes everyone uncomfortable, especially those of us who grew up in a relatively centralized, top-down media environment. But complaining about it won’t work. Dealing with it — not as a threat but an opportunity — is the only rational answer.

More here.