November 2005 (v8 i3)
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Blogs becoming leading news source, say blogs
Blogs say blogs becoming leading news source, says leading news source
by Mike Faerber, Staff Writer

Harold hasn't left the dorms in three years.
NEW YORK — Marking the diminishing role of corporate-owned TV, print and radio news, public opinion is increasingly becoming shaped by scores of independent bloggers, say scores of independent bloggers.

This trend will completely change the way the world gets its news, they say.

"Pretty soon there will be no mainstream media," predicts Harold Gannin, creator of watchblog.com. "Blogs, like mine for instance, carry the torch passed on by everyman watchdogs like Thomas Paine and Edward Murrow, while pampered New York news anchors allow their objectivity to rot as they sit in their luxurious penthouse apartments with central heating, taking baths and eating meals that aren't Kraft Macaroni and Cheese."

According to xanga.com/n3wsbl0g, newsblogs often cover minor events ignored by other news outlets or point out vaguely possible political biases in traditional news stations' coverage of major stories. For example, Gannin's blog tackles issues from his neighbors' opinions on recent gas-price hikes to how FOX News reporting is colored with conservative undertones.

"The blogging community reports to nobody," Gannin declares. "The only biases bloggers have are our own."

"There are no meddling editors, no corporate conflicts of interest, no pressures from advertisers. For example, if I wanted to print an expose on how the Bush administration is planning to frame poor people for death-penalty crimes so that the welfare system won't bankrupt, no right-wing fat-cat executive could threaten to fire me or make me do actual research."

Recent successes have strengthened bloggers' image as a reliable news source, many bloggers note. Last September, a group of bloggers collectively uncovered reporting errors made by Dan Rather on the president's military service record.

"You go to air with the supporting evidence you have. It's not the supporting evidence you might want or wish to have at a later time," watchthewatchblog.com reported Rather as saying in his defense.

However, instead of attacking blogs as a threat to their job, major news stations have embraced the phenomenon, often citing blogs as credible sources in their stories. Networks like MSNBC have even started their own newsblogs, which they use to feature features featured in other newsblogs.

Gannin takes this as a sign of the growing legitimacy of newsblogs.

"You can't halt progress," he says while checking drudgereport.com for story ideas. "I may not have graduated with a journalism degree, but I know the first rule is to give the people what they want."
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