Blogging And The Future Of News

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The role of bloggers in the news and media was a big topic at the Future in Review Conference. In a panel on the issue, Dave Winer (considered the father of RSS and blogging) and author Dan Gillmor were among participants who shared their views.

Winer appeared to support the idea of bloggers becoming the dominant source for news. He stated that he doesn’t have faith in institutions, and called it “silly” when Gillmor asserted that most bloggers don’t want to be journalists. Winer argued that professional “journalists don’t do anything special,” and stated, “I don’t think people need training in how to do journalism.”

Gillmor voiced a more balanced opinion on the future of bloggers in the news. He believed an effort was required on the part of the major media, however. “I hope we don’t lose big journalism, but want to see it as part of an ecosystem where all kinds of things from sole bloggers in deep narrow niches to what we have today,” he said, describing the ideal relationship as “symbiotic as opposed to entirely competitive.”

Winer pointed out the recent mistake Dan Rather and CBS were caught in, saying that had they listened to the blogosphere (members of which caught the gaffe), a different outcome would have resulted. And yet it can’t be denied that of the widely scattered, unaccountable bloggers, a few must have made errors from time to time, as well.

The issue remains largely one of trust-who can be believed. As bloggers seem to chip away at the credibility of mainstream media, and in doing so, build their own authority, it is conceivable that the two groups could eventually meet in the middle, or as Winer envisions, that the bloggers might even tip the scales.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Blogging And The Future Of News
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