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Blogs vs. Traditional Media

Over on the National Review Online (yeah, a conservative rag), blogger Matt Rosenberg makes a fascinating case for the power of blogs with respect to traditional news media.

...Bloggers serve an invaluable function: not just by rebutting or correcting the news; but by watering and "sunshining" stories that are dying on the vine. ... Many bloggers who depend on the news hold in low regard the person whose job title is "Page One Editor," "National Editor," or "Foreign Editor." ...
The Cosby story — like others before it — has shown that a news story can grow "legs" thanks more to repackagers in the blogosphere than to "legitimate" print and broadcast outlets.

While his post is largely about the dust-up over Bill Cosby's recent comments, he makes a great point: The blogosphere can serve a role in pushing stories to the forefront. Why? Blogs can post anytime (24/7, as well as only when news breaks), blogs usually reflect a single author's viewpoint, and blogs link obsessively to each other. Oh, and reporters troll blogs looking for stories, tips, and the zeitgeist. It's that snowball-rolling-down-the-mountain effect that the traditional news media can't ignore.

I'm skeptical of the boosters who say that the blogosphere will take over traditional media - but there's a kernel of truth in that oversized claim.