I read a very unflaterring piece today by Joseph Rago about the role of blogs in today's news media.
Rago claims that there isn't much in the way of breaking news in the blogoshpere. I agree with that premise, but how much "true" news is there in normal 24 hour news cycle when an evening that Brittney Spears decides not to wear underwear dominates the headlines.
Quite frankly, I get more information from the various blogs I visit than from the Mainstream Media (MSM). What I find extremely arrogant is the position by news editors and publishers that bloggers can't be serious journalists because 1) most didn't go to journalism school and 2) there are no fact checkers on staff.
For some reason, all those J-schoolers and fact checkers somehow couldn't seem to find the errors and outright frauds of Jason Blair, Rathergate, et al.
As a product of the first amendment, anyone in this country can call themselves a journalist simply by saying it. There are no licensing requirements, no ethics standards in which they need to abide and no governmental oversight. By all accounts, Thomas Paine might have called himself a journalist despite the lack of a J-school degree.
The bottom line is main stream media has lost it's way. In an era of streamlining editorial budgets, the NY Times is no more reliable or informative than Drudge or Lucianne. It makes me sick when I watch or listen to the news and a story starts "according to reports from WYZZ, Joe Coach has taken a new job with X school" What exactly is the news? The rumor that so and so coach is leaving or the fact that the station just got scooped?
I could put that crap on this blog and call it "News".
The way I view the news business, the longer it takes to deliver information the more accurate & thorough it needs to be. For instance, internet news is faster and less thorough & accurate than radio news, which is quicker and less accurate & thorough than TV, which is faster and less accurate & thorough than a newspaper.
Unfortunately, the crap I read in the daily newspaper has no more depth and accuracy than the stuff I read on Drudge 32 hours before.
Remind me again why I should pay $.75 for a Useless Today.