This started as a comment to Booman’s story, WSJ: Critiquing Blogs. As so often happens, there was a lot to think about and my comment entered that gray area between comment and diary. A dia-ment? Well, whatever it is, certainly in the rough.
There is at least one overlooked point in the WSJ comparison of bloggers & traditional reporters. There is an overlapping range of goals for the two groups. Three keys goals of both are reporting, advocacy, and community building. These goals are intertwined. The first two are often blurred, and the distinction is often in the eyes of the beholder. Although we don’t usually think of it as such, the WSJ also works to build a community, a group of people with common interests. The key difference in my mind is that bloggers and blogging are more democratic, more inclusive, more conducive to building communities, than are traditional media.
We are living through, and to one degree or another, participating in, a Jeffersonian generational revolution. For all our faults and growing pains, I think we are on the right side, the side of openness and democracy.
There is a place here for an analysis of the economic structures of reporting in the MSM and blogging, but I defer to those with more knowledge of the subject. I can only pose this question: How can we of the blogosphere create communities that provide economic freedom for the talented reporters among us to have the time and opportunity to report and for the passionate, informed advocates to effectively advocate?