Ron Farrar, one of my former professors/journalism mentors points me to a William Safire column that appeared last week in The New York Times. ("The Depressed Press," 1/17/05.) Safire says there is too much handwringing from the traditional media about the "new media" outlets that are appearing.
The "platform" – print, TV, Internet, telepathy, whatever – will
change, but the public hunger for reliable information will grow. 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 meanstream to the
mainstream center of comment and local news coverage. On
national or global events, however, the news consumer needs trained
reporters on the scene to transmit facts and trustworthy editors to
judge significance. In crises, large media gathering-places are needed
to respond to a need for national community.
(See my 1/15/05 comments for similar sentiments.) Professor Farrar also points me to The Weekly Standard’s recent review of Hugh Hewitt’s new book Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World.