One Veteran's Voice

14 December 2005

power of the blog

"The Post is primarily a local newspaper, no matter how or where it's read. Its circulation, as reported in September, is 671,322 daily and 965,920 Sunday. The Web site's reach is huge -- 8 million unique visitors a month, about 1.3 million of them local."

I really enjoyed reading this article about the recent controversy surrounding WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing.".

Froomkin is certainly biased and critical of the White House, but he's not being duplicitous about his bias. He's reporting facts, and giving his opinions. Perhaps, as suggested in the article, a disclaimer could be added, or a counter-blog offered.

I love the feature on the Washington Post site that displays a real time Technorati feed as to what bloggers are saying about the article being viewed. It's not surprising to me that it makes certain tight-ass reporters and the corporate hombres at the newspaper nervous. They have no control over what people might say about one of their articles, and that scares them.

Any idiot with a computer and a minimal amount of know-how can create a blog, and that's part of the beauty of it. If they have nothing insightful to say, few people will read it. Some bloggers are popular in spite of the fact that they suck. Michelle Malkin sucks, not because of her conservative bias, but because I can pretty much tell what she's going to write about any given story/issue/event before she writes it. It's boring. On the other hand, this makes her popular because her readers feel vindicated after they read her posts.

As I look into my crystal ball, I see a future where more and more people are online, more people are getting their news online, and more people are getting their news from independent journalists, bloggers, and freelancers. Why get a job at a newspaper when a journalist can create a blog that could theoretically rival the Washington Post in circulation? The journalistic ethics (supposedly) applied by newspapers are important, and newspapers will still be relevant in this future world, but only if they get with the program and really do a bang up job with their online content.

I get pissed when newspapers want me to register to read their online stories. I'm pretty sure they're making enough through the plethora of ads crammed on their pages to support themselves without selling my email address or soliciting me in some other way.

As more people get wired, bandwith goes up, and home entertainment and computing become totally integrated, the lines between the journalist and the blogger will blur even more. As someone who is more inclined to agree with him than not, I appreciate Froomkin's efforts to counter the propaganda put out by the Michelle Malkins of the world. I would urge the Washington Post not to bow down too much to people who simply disagree with Froomkin's opinions. Froomkin can call his column what he wants to call it, and if the post gives him too much shit, he should go independent. I'd still read him, anyway.

Media Bias

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