Donald Sensing weighs in on this issue. I get the majority of my news and opinion on current events from the internet, and about 80% of that is from blogs. The web is faster, bigger, and more easily accessable. Television is still better for live events like presidential speeches and on-the-spot reports from front-line reporters, but that may change as broadband internet access becomes more available and affordable.
There is only one real standard of journalistic accountability: the marketplace of ideas. People read or view or listen to sources that they deem reliable and credible (or entertaining, but we were talking about news and commentary). Glenn Reynolds gets 75,000 discrete page hits per day because people trust his record. My blog’s readership has grown from a few dozen to a couple thousand for the same reason, I presume. Lord knows, I don’t try to be entertaining.
I certainly try to inject a fair amount of levity into my commentary but, as you all know, it’s not all that entertaining.
Sensing also notes that the real accountability of professional journalists, or at least the news departments that employ them, is not to the American public, but to the advertising dollar. I don’t have any beef with making a buck or two while reporting the news, being a raving capitalist, but there is a major conflict of interest when making money is an ‘end’ rather than a ‘means’ of continuing to do business.
As they say, read the whole thing.
UPDATE:Bill Hobbs weighs in on the subject on his excellent blog.
The blog format is perfect for hard news coverage. It’s better than print – more timely, and the nature of the blog medium allows for linking to various sources, resources and other coverage and commentary, providing a much richer product for readers. And blog-related technology such as RSS feeds, email news alerts and blog comments features allow instant distribution and reader interactivity in a way no printed newspaper ever has or ever will. Blogs are the future of written journalism.
Check it out.