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September 02, 2006

Comments

Wil

traditional media can be good, but it can also be biased. at least blogs don't make apologies for being biased. also, traditional media will always be around b/c they are on location. Also, interviewing the people in stories is always necessary. many blogs are just opinions and don't necessarilly interview the people in their posts. i'm not saying blogs are bad b/c of that, but it's always better to read an article that uses a primary source instead of a secondary source. unless bloggers start doing what Kevin Sites ( http://hotzone.yahoo.com ) does, which is actually going to where the story is, then traditional media will always be around. just my 2 cents.

torn

Hi Wil -- Good observations. I think the author of the New Yorker article would agree with you. What he takes issue with is the 34% of the 12 million bloggers in America who consider themselves "journalists". As you imply, sitting in front of a computer and waffling away is not reporting. The best reporters use up a lot of shoe leather and work their contacts hard; most bloggers would not have any idea how to begin an investigative story.

The most interesting recent development to me is these hybrid sites like Ohmynews. They really do have the potential to change the way we report the news, though whether that will ever be fully realized is another matter.

As for whether newspapers will always be around, I think that will be a commercial decision. If there is money to be made, sure, proprietors will still back their papers. On the other hand, newspapers are hugely expensive operations and cannot be run as charitable or vanity projects. If eveyone is away doing something else there will be no commercial point and newspapers will die. Check out the Economist article, which has an interesting example from Norway of a newspaper that is adapting successfully to the digital challenge.

Thanks for the Kevin Sites link -- will take a look.

eric aka senor enrique

Hunch tells me time will soon come when traditional media with online presence will pull some good bloggers for strategic alliance purposes as what happened with Sassy Lawyer and Manila Standard.

I like the idea of citizen journalism that is "heartwarming and adds to the store of good things in the world."

Carla

Hi Torn. I agree with you that it will take a few more years (or probably a decade) to see how "new media" impact on traditional media (and the world, for that matter). Every time a new medium is invented, there is always some celebratory discourse about how it's going to change the world for the better. There *has* been change and there will be more, but the transformation will probably not be as complete nor as positive as hoped.

There's the quesiton of editorial standards, as you mentioned, there's accountability as well. Beyond the impact on the practice of journalism, there's the impact on democracy itself, our conception of which is inextricably bound with the media. What interests me is the possibility of atomization, when the mind-boggling number of blogs and other online platforms undercut shared references. Putnam calls this "cyberbalkanization" and I think it's particularly important in polities (like the Philippines) where deep socio-economic cleavages already exist. When one tiny segment of Filipinos is reading Manolo Quezon while the rest are watching DEBATE...

It's very fashionable to talk about dissent and "communities" enabled by the Internet but we really should be more modest. And we should take into account that technology and media within different contexts. What the Internet and blogging may enable in the West--actually, America-- may not be replicated in the developing world. It's not just a question of Internet access but also of media systems and political culture.

Skunkeye

I found that New Yorker magazine very interesting - I actually have had some experience dealing ohmynews with sourcing when I was at VOA - and also have had a family member interviewed by the site sveral times - and they are generally though to be pretty reputable and reliable.
I don't know what it is like in the Philippines, but the traditional, mainstream media - tv, print- is relying more and more on blog-generated material - maybe its just a phase - maybe its just laziness on the behalf of editors and journalists since there seems to be so much stuff on the internets for the taking. For example, tonight I finally caught the revamped CBS evening news with Katie Couric - big media circus here in the States- and it seemed a good quarter of the broadcast was devoted to whats happening in the blogosphere and internet world- maybe they are just trying to be "hip." And maybe that spells the decline of it alll this blogging madness!

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