Journalists must stop being in denial: bloggers are here to stay

John Naughton gets the balance right here:

What’s happening is a small but significant change in our media ecology. All journalists worth their salt have always known that out there are readers, listeners or viewers who know more about a story than they do. But until recently, there was no effective way for this erudition or scepticism to find public expression. Letters to the editor rarely attract public attention – or impinge on the consciousness of journalists.

Blogging changes all that. Ignorant, biased or lazy journalism is instantly exposed, dissected and flayed in a medium that has global reach. (If you doubt that, ask Dan Rather and CBS.)

Conversely, good reporting and intelligent commentary is passed from blog to blog and spreads like wildfire beyond the jurisdiction in which it was originally published. This can only be good for journalism in the long run, if only because, as my mother used to say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Blogging won’t wipe out journalism, for the simple reason that journalism requires skills and resources that bloggers will never have. But it will improve the practice of our trade. I don’t expect that Pulitzer-winning Dave will like this prospect much. But he’ll just have to get used to it.

He just hit the nail on the head.

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