Don Arthur over at Club Troppo reckons the “blogosphere” has delusions of grandeur.
His thesis seems to boil down to: most major investigative stories are broken by professional journalists, not bloggers. Most of the commentary by bloggers (even the good stuff) is derivative, either of someone else’s work or as analysis of figures produced by a government agency.
My comment on this over at Club Troppo:
While journalism is still a profession, the commentary and opinion that has started to bulk out the majority of newspapers (especially The Age and Australian) is not of any higher quality than the average tertiary educated blogger.
(Very few investigative journalists are left in Australia today.)
In fact, as Liam Hogan (@liamvhogan) tweeted today most journalists reporting and commenting on politics (especially the Canberra Press Gallery) have only ever been journalists. They have no life experience – in fact, most have even less than the average political apparatchik.
Most bloggers on Larvatus Prodeo or elsewhere at least have a profession and life experience other than being a professional columnist.
I’m no insider, but it is clear to me that most journalists have no better idea of how decisions are made in the ALP than the average blogger – except the journo gets their misconceptions and biases amplified to the extreme by Fairfax or News Ltd.
Don finishes his post by asking “why do so many people still pay to read journalism but ignore blogs even when they’re free?”
In my view, many more people are reading blogs – and many successful blogs from around the world have become “mainstream”, incorporated into a major newspaper (the Guardian, New York Times and even The Australian has done this). So, Arthur’s question is mis-concieved.
Head back over to Club Troppo, where Don Arthur has put up a challenge to find the best political commentary to compare – blogs vs mainstream media.