06 August 2007

Blogging and journalism

Both bloggers and conventional print journalists have been back in the news again recently. First I noticed an article by Steve Richards (New Statesman) who admitted, after an initial bout of scepticism, that dead tree journalists needed to watch their backs because of the encroachment of more pointed and often better informed bloggers. Then today Iain (two i's) Dale reports in his Diary on the Press Gazette figures for people visiting newspaper web sites. He points out with some justifiable pride how he and Guido Fawkes get half as many monthly visitors as some of the national dailies.

I recently followed the Tour de France both on TV and on the web, and I was struck with how much better informed were some of the blog comments than the professional journalists whose articles they were discussing. Full time pros with access to the riders, their teams, and the press enclosure were getting nowhere with the stories of the doping scandals. Meanwhile pundits far away from the action were nailing miscreants from their armchairs. They were simply better informed about their subject.

The nature of media is changing very rapidly, before our very eyes. Unless these people who get paid to ventilate their opinions don't shape up, they could find themselves left behind - by amateurs with more to say.

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