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CMS: Blogging the News
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In this episode:

Blogs are changing the face of our media, but by how much?


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34:32 minutes (16.58 MB)
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On today's show we talk about blogs and blogging.

Blogs have been with us since the late nineties, but they really exploded into the mainstream in 2004. Five years down the road, does this once-formidable form look like it's losing a little steam?

Traditional media is in trouble, and the bloggers were supposed to pick up the slack. Or the slackers were supposed to pick up the blog. It's confusing. But did any of that happen? Or was it all just a dream?

On today's show, we invite bloggers and blog readers and people who hate blogs to leave comments and vent. Are blogs sill important to you? Were they ever?

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Listener Email from Karl

Blogging, as a singular, unattached entity, won't matter enough as a
corrective to the mainstream press right now. Sure, the mainstream has
lost much of its appetite for upsetting their sources and access. But the
ignored part for me is how the right-wing blogosphere is just a tool of
the right-wing power structure and the lefties are actually doing some of
the things we used to look for "professional" journos to do.

The left-wing blogs brought you the US Attorney firing scandal, or the
phone-jamming conviction from election day in New Hampshire. The
right-wing blogs brought you ill-informed rantings, spilling over into
violence, without any mainstream press saying "that's enough", set the
scene for a nobody (really, did you know who he was?) on the Republican
side to scream out at the President during an address to a joint session
of Congress and be hailed as a hero. Has the frame game of Fox News
succeeded so completely that there is no reason to talk about how [batty]
the righty blogs are, and how much real journalism has been done by the
likes of Josh Marshall?

The John Coles, Glenn Greenwalds, DailyKoses, Digbys and such are great.
But at some point there's a limit to the influence they can exert on the
Beltway Inbred gatekeepers like Howie Kurtz and Sally Quinn, who were
worried about the Clintons "wrecking 'our' town" when "online" meant
one's choice of Compuserve or AOL. It's an uphill fight against the
"liberal press" and useful idiots like Politico and Joe Klein and Jake
Tapper, who have long ago decided to make the know-nothings (who are all
over the TV screaming that they "feel" their voices aren't being
heard--where does a lefty demonstrator go to buy this kind of
publicity?), aided by Matt Drudge, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, into
America's Assignment Editor.

If the best lefty blogs out there can change the left-side parameters of
"accepted" political discourse or put any limits on the right-side, I
have yet to see it.

(Disclaimer: Wow, I've been writing this for half an hour while you're
broadcasting. As always, I seem to take this into the meta-mediascape;
other local things like you're mentioning about Hartford political
coverage on the "granular" level" as a replacement for dying newspapers
are almost another subject and also worthy of airtime.)

Listener Email from Meg

Interesting discussion about blogs. I wonder if blogs will, for a while, take the place of the local newspapers for a while? A neighborhood group here in STAMFORD uses a local blog to share information about disputed developments by the city, crime information and general community chatter. It has become an online conversation with like-minded folks, so maybe not always the whole picture, but still a conversation. The information sharing has been indispensable for a group that trying to get up to speed on the local government so we can attend meetings and try to navigate the process. Many of us are new to the area or newly interested in the issues.

Listener Email from Pat

I think that the epitome of blogs is Andrew Sullivan's. There is a genuine give and take without having to wade through comments (you know about problems with comments) He has the benefit of being paid to do it full time, but he really has evolved the genre into one blog that is worth the time. I particularly likes how transparent his process is, and how he considers the process aspect of blogging with quite a bit of reflection.
Locally, you should shout out to Christine Stuart -- although I am having trouble getting on CT News Junkie today.
It would be great to have links to blogs mentioned on your show site.
Keep up the good work.