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blognews.pngTechNewsWorld says that bloggers who break news stories ahead of mainstream media appear “to be a new and emerging breed of journalist.”
Actually, that breed has been evolving over the past 10 years, and the result is nothing short of a sea change in how news and information travels.
I pointed Walaika Haskins, who interviewed me for the story, to some of the stories she included, like Dell Hell and the blog coverage of the Scooter Libby trial. Nice to be asked for input!

“Just a few years ago,,” she writes, “blogs were looked down upon by many media professionals and even bloggers themselves. However, it’s not unheard of for a blogger to be the one breaking the news on a big story. Blogs such as Perez Hilton, the Wonkette, the Daily Kos and others have changed the way people get their news and the way the media covers news.” (Hmm, when did bloggers look down on blogs?)

The article also states that “Blogging will peak in 2007, according to a Gartner report. The company estimates that there are already more than 200 million ex-bloggers … [Gartner] expects the number of bloggers to top off at around 100 million.”
One hundred million writers with their own “printing presses” is nothing to sneeze at, but I believe there aren’t more than 10,000 bloggers worldwide with significant numbers of readers.
However, blogging is about influence, not numbers. Some bloggers who have influence don’t necessarily have a million readers, or scores of comments on every post. Influence is harder to measure than pageviews, and the perfect measurement system has yet to be developed, despite ongoing efforts by Technorati, Google, BlogPulse and others.
Influential as some bloggers may be, it was just yesterday that a friend asked me “Don’t people have anything else to do besides read blogs about other people’s lives?” To which I responded, feeling a lot like Rodney Dangerfield, “yes, they can watch “reality” shows and stupid sitcoms on television.” So, the are bloggers journalists debate is sure to continue. Sigh.
Posted by B.L. Ochman