Sunday, October 10, 2004

Blogs vs 'traditional' reporting

The local paper had a editorial about blogs vs traditional reporting. I wrote the following to the writer. No response of any kind at all.
    Dear Jim,

    Regarding your editorial of October 7th, 2004 I think that you need to visit the blogosphere a little more. Bloggers, at least the responsible ones, are quick to correct mistakes, give credit where it is due, and accept responsibility. These characteristics are missing in modern traditional print and television media.

    Traditional media has a editorial direction. So do individual bloggers. However in a blog that allows public comments the author can be challenged. While traditional media can be challenged via a letter or email it is up to the media entity to publish the letter. I would wager that those that are critical of traditional medias postition on any particular issue are quietly swept away. In the blogosphere the comment is out there for the author to rebut or acknowledge. Burt Constable is a classic example of this. I've sent him numerous corrections over the years, with the data to back them up, and never got a response. And if the subject was mentioned in a future article he attacked the position I supported with the same unsupportable arguement. Jack Mabley, on the other hand, always responded to email that I sent him. He was always polite, even when I had shown him to be wrong.

    Personally I'm very close to giving up on papers like the Daily Herald. It gets harder and harder to send that check when the bill comes. The Herald's editorial direction is leaning further and further to the political left and for someone like myself, who leans to the political right, is hard to justify the expense. I used to be able to justify the expense just for the comics but the recent changes to the best page in the paper have made it next to unreadable.

    Something that you may be overlooking in the blogosphere is the difference in what is reported. There are so many things that I would be unaware of if it were not for blogs. A few from memory:

    - Gunfire attacks on Republican campaign headquarters
    - Michael Moore breaking election laws
    - The progress in Iraq and Afghanistan (instead the Herald reports everything that is wrong there)
    - The vandalism of Bush/Cheney advertising all over the country - included the keying of cars with W 04 stickers on them.
    - The Iraq Survey Group stating that Iraq was ready to start WMD production again.
    - John Kerry and John Edwards complete lack of accomplishment in the Senate
    - Kerrys treason after Viet Nam

    For some reason the Herald chooses to ignore these.

    Good luck to the Herald. I have a feeling the future may not be as bright as you think.

Time to tweak it a bit and send it in as a letter to the editor ...

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