My old friend, former business partner, and tough old bastard, Sam Kinch, Jr., has a minimum of high regard for blogs-as-journalism. He thinks that bloggers break more wind than news.
Today, there are 94 million blogs. Who knows how many there will be tomorrow. They can't all be reporters. Besides, if all those blogs were reporting new news, who would have time to read it?
However, there are notable exceptions. My son-in-law, Jeff Hebert posted this piece from the L.A. Times which chronicles some bloggers actually reporting news and breaking stories. It will help you make an informed judgment.
I've come full circle. Initially, I thought bloggers were opinionated jerks in need of an editor who would wash their mouths with soap. Now, however, I've come to believe that we need bloggers to save journalism from itself.
In a recent PBS broadcast, Bill Moyers focused on radio but was really talking about all media. Already, big bucks moguls control much, if not most, of the media outlets in America. That's very dangerous. Rupert Murdoch could be a bigger threat to democracy than the communists ever were.
That's my concern -- the big business takeover of American journalism. And that's why I grudgingly welcome blogs and low-power radio into the media mix. The new competition will have to be from the bottom up.
Although it's tempting, I have no plans to make this little blog into a kick-ass news gathering operation. Nor will I ever take to the airwaves with Radio-Free-Geezer.
Hmmm. I wonder if we could recruit a hearty band of retired newsies (have pajamas, will travel) and ... No. Probably too much job-and-alcohol-related brain damage.
Meanwhile, I will call an ace and ace from time to time. Perhaps you will enjoy the ride as much as I intend to. Hope so.