Monday, October 04, 2004

Beware the Power

Thanks to Michele at A Small Victory for helping the idea break through to daylight. In the wake of Danron (I still think that anythinggate is officially cliche) some bloggers are starting to show way more pride than is warranted. Michele, like myself, is concerned with the attitude of some bloggers on her side of the political aisle believing that they are just as capable as MSM at journalism and that they are somehow transcending blogging.

I still believe that the blogosphere will not replace Old Media because there is no way, currently, to aggregate the resources necessary to have full time data collectors, read reporters. Our position is better suited to replacing the Editorial boards. Give us the information, and the blogosphere/meme petri dish will figure out what it means.

What I am concerned about is that elements of the blogosphere will ultimately fall into the same trap that Old Media has: the power to create change with which it found itself invested causing its corruption. For the old media, this was Watergate. No doubt many in the media at the time (a few hold out McGovern supporters no doubt) thought that America was better off without Nixon, scandal or no. Suddenly, journalism became a way to create change, leading to new generation of activist journalists with the unfortunate results that we see today.

The blogosphere, being internet based, has had and still fights to remove the stigma of unaccountability. We are still tarred with a long history of e-mail and other web based rumors. The new connectivity has created strong feed-back loops that select for accuracy, and several bloggers have used that to good advantage in the Danron fiasco. To think that that means we are identical in effect to journalists is mistaken. Like Michele, I am not interested in dedicating myself to writing only about news. I'm especially not interested in wearing out shoe leather in chasing down leads.

The claim that bloggers are like unto journalists smacks of the same hubris that has corrupted the main stream media. So, as a member of the blogger peerage, I would like to say to those bloggers making that claim: Get off your high horse, you'll get a nosebleed.

(Shape of Days link via Instapundit)

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