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The Wall Street Journal, which just last week ran a hotly debated and widely discussed story accusing bloggers of taking money to say positive things about Howard Dean during the election, today predicted in its Five Tech Things to Watch in 2005 that “The tension between the established press and blogs will ease.”
It went on to create tension by saying that “Bloggers push stories and theories that make big media look slow, defensive or part of some far-fetched conspiracy.” Noting that “competition is rarely welcomed by the incumbents,”, the article admitted that “it can help make them better.”
The article concludes “Big news organizations can directly co-opt bloggers too, by buying them out or publishing their work.”
In the NY Times, William Safire, in The Depressed Press,(sub or use says “Blogs will compete with op-ed columns for “views you can use,” and the best will morph out of the pajama game to deliver serious analysis and fresh information, someday prospering with ads and subscriptions. The prospect of profit will bring bloggers in from the mainstream to the mainstream center of comment and local news coverage.”
So the Journal, arrogantly, believes that bloggers will, like so many rebels, be won over by being invited into the hallowed halls of dead tree journalism.
But we’re not enemy rebels. Darwinism will, as always, help the best bloggers rise in influence. And that influence will continue to be felt in both traditional and non-traditional media. Hey, you Journal reporters, that includes the venerable Wall St. Journal. You can bet on it.
And Safire says that when we make money we will be just as conservative and scared as the mainstream press to push controversial opinions.
Has it occurred to you, Mr. Safire, that there actually still is a market for the truth and that there still are advertisers who will support a free press?