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In The Wall Street Journal today, Peggy Noonan writes “The Blogs Must Be Crazy,” a terrific assessment of how strongly bloggers have impacted on old media.
She predicts that a rising young reporter from The Times or Newsweek will resign to start a blog that will legitimize blogging. Not necessary. Blogging is already legitimate.
“Blogging changes how business is done in American journalism,” Dowd says. “The MSM [main stream media] isn’t over. It just can no longer pose as if it is The Guardian of Established Truth. The MSM is just another player now. A big one, but a player.”
She points out that bloggers perform a public service in a number of ways, not the least of which is that they can add to the true-information flow while correcting the biases and lapses of the mainstream media.
Key point: cream rises to the top.
It is not true that there are no controls. It is not true that the blogosphere is the Wild West. What governs members of the blogosphere is what governs to some degree members of the MSM, and that is the desire for status and respect. In the blogosphere you lose both if you put forward as fact information that is incorrect, specious or cooked. You lose status and respect if your take on a story that is patently stupid. You lose status and respect if you are unprofessional or deliberately misleading. And once you’ve lost a sufficient amount of status and respect, none of the other bloggers link to you anymore or raise your name in their arguments. And you’re over. The great correcting mechanism for people on the Web is people on the Web.
Love her idea about having old media “invite bloggers who already exist into the tent. Why not take the best things said on blogs each day and print them on a Daily Blog page? We’d be enhancing our rep as an honest news organization, and it will further our branding!”