There is an interesting discussion going on over at Neuron Culture concerning commentary posted at Huffington Post by a dude named Steven Waldman (no fucking clue who he is) concerning the relationship between blogging and “traditional journalism”:
The idea that the Huffington Post, or the explosion of interesting internet news or blogging sites, can replace journalistic institutions like the New York times or other newspapers or dinosaurs of the mainstream media truly misunderstands the web, newspapers, journalism and the serious threat posed to democracy if the news gathering institutions fail.
David Dobbs, journalist and blogger at Neuron Culture thinks “Waldman has this right”, because traditional newpapers possess “infrastructure that supports in-depth reporting, fact-checking, editing, and brainstorming, and with it a corresponding infrastructure of contacts and information flow”.
Comrade PhysioProf thinks this is a load of steaming fucking horsehit.
With a very few exceptions, the traditional news-gathering institutions already have failed. They no longer provide any but the most perfunctory opposition or criticism of government actions and assertions.
The most important opportunity the press had to keep the government honest in the last decade–the Iraq war propaganda assault–it failed miserably, and the evidence suggests that news-gathering agencies made an explicit decision not to “challenge the Leader in a Time of War”. The press is not doing any better of a job right now in covering the Middle East, acting essentially as stenographer for AIPAC far-right-wing Likud propaganda.
The vast majority of journalists are much more interested in sucking up to power and basking in reflected celebrity than they are in acting as the opposition to government propaganda they were envisioned by the Founders as constituting. If our current news-gathering agencies are supposed to be some kind of bulwark of democracy, we are seriously fucked.