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Brooke Gladstone of NPR’s On the Media, keynote speaker at Bulldog Reporter’s new media conference in Manhattan today said that “most mainstream media (MSM) consult several blogs daily to find out what matters.”
She explained that the blogosphere is a public opinion barometer for MSM. Thanks to bloggers, she says, the news consumer now has a way to talk back to the Wizard of Oz, who’s now just an aging man behind a curtain.
Blogs: Collective Wisdom of Crowds
“You can’t ignore blogger ‘fact checkers’ even if they are sometimes cruel,” she said, “because often they are also right.”
Blogs act as a club house, a clearing house and a conversation pit, Brookstone maintains, and what they have to offer us is “the collective wisdom of crowds.”
Caveat Emptor
A Caveat Emptor sticker should be slapped on MSM and blogs because people can’t expect to be spoon fed their news. “You have to figure it out for yourself.”
She expressed concern about the proliferation of “web-based echo chambers” where people can get news from precisely the angle they want and have no other perspective whatsoever. She, rather melodramatically, referred to this phenomenon as “an ongoing threat to democracy.” In fact, I think the proliferation of news sources is an ongoing boost to democracy and one of the most valuable contributions of new media.