Monday, December 19, 2005

The Role of the Blogger in the News Media

An excellent viewpoint from Dan Riehl. Key graf:
The next, and arguably the only genuinely effective step in combating media bias is not hypothetically pronouncing, or even objectively proving it so. If the blogosphere is to be anything more than a hodgepodge of on line diarists, or right and left-wing pontificates fueling an already burning fire, the next real step for the blogosphere must be reportage - the gathering of facts, quotes, data and trust worthy ground level observations realistically depicting a story or event.
That was my intenti0n with BNN. It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to do; basically, I couldn't figure out a way to make it work (economically). To incentivize people to do real reporting, you have to pay them. They'll give you their opinions for free, but reporting is work and work requires money. But online routine news reporting doesn't generate enough revenue to pay anything. Super-hot stories do - I imagine that if Dan had monetized his blog, the Natalee Holloway story would have made him quite a bit.

The quantity of super-hot stories is (fortunately, in the long-term view) limited.


protein wisdom said...


Robert said...

I just read your response to Dan over at his blog. Like him, I'm not particularly trying to drag you into this; you're just the guy who made the original insightful remark.

I do agree a little more with Dan's point of view on the question, though. Commentary and analysis are going to be places where the blogosphere does a critical job in checking the MSM, and replacing it to some extent. However, I suspect that the generation of new facts on the ground is going to be even more important.

Since we're basically on the same team on a lot of things, and I can assume that you're not going to Marcotte my analogy, let me concretize the issue. It's incredibly great that there are blog writers in the US battling the bogus Iraq narrative being peddled by the MSM. Think how much greater it would be if there were three hundred Iraq the Models in Baghdad, putting out their own direct reporting, good, bad and ugly, and you had that much more ammunition in your clip.

That's what I think Dan's getting at.

Dan said...

That's what I think Dan's getting at.

Precisely. On line punditry is one thing. On line reportage is quite another. I'm a bit surprised that this requires such explanation in some cases, excepting that the jumping off quote may have clouded the issue somewhat in Jeff's mind.

Robert said...

Well, he was probably very drunk, and fondling his new glasses. (Or was that me?)