This article from the current American Journalism Review examines blogs’ influence on the recent political campaign in the Commonwealth. I personally see blogs contributing to the dispersion of news and information rather than replacing mainstream newspapers. I say newspapers and their online arms because I tend to not watch any television news and read mainly the WSJ and occasionally the Daily Progress in print. We need “big media” for several reasons – the inherent trust which blogs for the most part have not yet developed or cultivated.
But most acknowledge their dependence on newspapers for the raw material on which they then riff. “I’m not a journalist and don’t claim to be,” says Chad Dotson, the 32-year-old prosecutor whose Commonwealth Conservative blog was perhaps the season’s most popular pro-Republican site. “But I do some reporting, and I aim to be reliable. This is the Wild West of reporting (and I use that term very loosely), but if I said something completely off the reservation, I would expect that bloggers on the left side would come on my blog and correct and criticize me. It is self-governing in that way.”
That’s what I try to do – in an open, honest and decidedly interested way, here in my little corner of the blogosphere (there’s got to be a better name than that!) I don’t aim to be political; I intend to write about real estate; however, the two cross paths more often than I realized before I started writing.
One of the greatest differences between the mediums is the speed of reaction.
But Jaquith is clear that blogs operate in a different universe, with different rules: “Bloggers are not a model of bipartisanship or a model of journalism. We jump to conclusions; we say stupid things; we say things that are wrong.”
There is a level of accountability and desire to be accurate due to that accountability. That’s a good thing.
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