Blogs are getting mainstream press attention for nailing journalists for alleged wrongs. The NY Times summed it up in a recent headline: “Resignation at CNN Shows the Growing Influence of Blogs.” (Pontificateblog.com is available)
The mainstream media is nailed, and rightfully so, when it fails to adhere to its own standards. (GotchaBlog.com is available). But bloggers are without restraints (EliteBloggers.com is available). They operate without standards and true accountability (AccountabilityBlog.com is available), which is something they should keep in mind when pointing out the failings of others.
Bloggers took a lot of credit for outing White House correspondent Jeff Gannon of Talon News. It’s amazing that Gannon was able to get access to White House briefings on a regular basis from an ostensibly conservative group that uses volunteer reporters. But Gannon (I know that’s not his real name) is taking a real drubbing over this. The New York Times reports today that his outing included public posting of his Social Security numbers. (ReallySmartMove.com is available). Gannon has hired a lawyer and I don’t blame him.
Budding investigative bloggers (HotShotBloggers.com is available) really need to read the AP stylebook, especially the section in the back of the book on libel. (BloggersBehavingBadly.com, BadBloggers.com, and OutlawBloggers.com are all available for registration)
I’m not upset with Gannon. It’s the White House that has a lot of explaining to do. (WhiteHouseBehavingBadly.com is available, too.)
Bloggers can win audiences by offering quality, straightforward, rigorous analysis (ThinkingBlog.com is available), and by taking responsibility for their mistakes or by being one-sided blame machines (BlameMachines.com is available) and blowhards (BlowhardBloggers.com is available) that play to prejudices and ignorance. But most will be ignored, lost in the noise. (HonkingHorn.com is available).
David Corn, in The Nation, has written a very good column on the use and misuse of blogs.
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