David did fine work last night on NECN, along with relatively newly-minted bloggers Jon Keller of CBS4 and David Dahl of the Globe.
I’m happy and grateful that the professional media are noticing what’s going on here, and that we have some credibility with them, as Jim Braude professed. I’m bemused by the persistent theme (usually from the pros) that somehow blogs are in competition with professional media. I don’t see it that way. I feel like a broken record saying it, but everyone, especially bloggers are dependent on a fantastic, tough, resourceful professional media. Yes, we do some original reporting here, but we can’t do the jobs of the pros, because we’re not pros. We don’t have the time nor the training. We do bring expertise and experience from our own lives, which can be a useful sounding board for those in the media, politicians, and other folks who may find themselves in a professional “bubble”. (Now, the “blog bubble” is another story altogether …)
There is a huge difference between the constant conservative carping of “liberal bias” and the left’s critique of corporate media. Conservatives want the media to represent their ideology, and to shape their reporting to pre-conceived conservative frames: respect for tradition, hierarchy, money, and power. By and large, liberals want the media to do their jobs: Report the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Liberalism is by nature anti-hierarchical, small-d democratic, inquisitive, and skeptical, resistant to top-down thinking.
Liberal blogs are therefore much friendlier to the endeavor of journalism; even though we may be skeptical or even hostile to how it’s practiced in any given moment. I’m very fond of the line “The truth has a liberal bias”; but in fact, that’s not accurate. At its best, liberalism is naturally flexible enough to accomodate the truth as it’s revealed. That’s why this blog and others call ourselves “reality-based”; and maybe that’s why the liberal blogosphere seems to be lapping the conservatives, as reality in any number of areas (Iraq, global warming) overtakes conservative shibboleths.
So much more reason, then, to be wary of the temptation to construct our own.