Mainstream press organizations are at once embracing blogs as source material, while also discounting them as coming mostly from men in their pajamas. Why any one blog gains traction among mainstream journalists, I can’t say for sure. I suppose existing readership has a lot to do with it. When a writer has thousands of daily readers, which some popular bloggers do indeed have, journalists correctly respect that kind of thing, and they are no doubt forced to question their own numbers.
Dan Rather’s recent “document situation” didn’t pass muster in the blogosphere, and I’d say that’s a good thing. I think the ongoing nature of the story is overblown, and totally hypocritical coming from other equally-guilty, faux journalists. Regarding the role bloggers now play in fact-checking a story, I’d say it’s a positive development for society. Knowledge is power and the blogosphere is a living web of knowledge. An intelligent, interconnected community working, mostly for free, to keep it real. Like Linux–the open source operating system created by a Finnish student and made better by thousands of contributors around the globe–the story of the day, whatever it happens to be, is now being made better by bloggers.
This cat has an interesting pro micro-fame slant on why bloggers blog.