19 March 2006

Blogs come under sustained attack

I have discussed this before but I think Marie Cocco makes a legitimate point when she says that blogs are the least trusted source of news. Of course one man or woman's opinion does not always carry as much weight as one that has been fact-checked by a legitimate media outlet. However, this does not necessarily make it any less valid. Many blogs are full of strong opinions, often based on rumours and innuendoes (an argument that could often be levelled at the mainstream media too - particularly the tabloids), but there are good sites out there that offer legitimate alternative viewpoints that you might not always find within newspapers, whose owners have outside business interests. There seems to be a growing campaign at the moment to hit back at blogs, amidst a fear that some newspapers may collapse under the weight of choice. However, as I said before I believe blogs have a different roll to play to the mainstream media in that they are almost entirely opinion and based on reaction to the news (almost like an advanced form of the letters page - except, perhaps terrifyingly for the media, they cannot be edited). The mainstream media will always be needed to report the news and only those that fail to provide content of a high quality will disappear. Too many newspapers have relied on Associated Press or Reuters' stories and that is why sites like Google News are viewed as such a threat. They need to look to newspapers like the Guardian that, as well as adapting to the internet age, are also excellent at breaking the news too.

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