Obama Open To Helping Newspapers, To Avoid Reporting Becoming 'All Blogosphere'

from the oh-really? dept

Mathew Ingram points us to the news that President Obama has indicated that he's at least open to hearing bills that would help bailout the newspaper industry because he's afraid of reporting becoming "all blogosphere":
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding."
That seems like an odd way to characterize things. First, it seems odd to lump the medium in with a certain type of reporting. There are plenty of "real reporters" who do plenty of "serious fact-checking" within the blog world too. Blogs are just a publishing medium. Yes, because there's a lower barrier to entry, you do end up with a much larger absolute number of bloggers, many of whom are just giving opinion. But the idea that there aren't blogging reporters is pure folly. In fact, I'd argue that the serious blogs on certain subjects to a lot more to "put stories in context" than your average newspaper reporter, who writes up a quick take and moves on to the next big thing. Topic-specific blogs are often much more accurate, much more detailed, and much more willing to focus on context than newspaper reporting. So why rescue one bunch of reporters, just because they happen to print on paper?

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  1. identicon
    A different Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2009 @ 6:26am

    @ Anonymous Coward

    You sir, are not very bright.

    1st, Regarding healthcare, it is the debating of the subject without any actual real information that is the problem. (Not that every administration wouldn't like to manipulate what the thousands are saying - that's obvious) But if the bloggosphere has imploded his grand vision for health care (and it hasn't - at least not yet, amongst people who understand anything about it) it's because opinion shapers without any obligation to abide by the the truth, reality, the legistlative schedule, social rules of conduct that don't needlessly rile people up, etc. have equal credibility in the bloggosphere because (as the article points out) the barriers to entry are low enough that there is no investment to protect, and no process that requires a vetting of what is published to protect the investment in the enterprise from lawsuits, or a reduction in the credibility of the news source.

    2nd, If the adminstration does embark on this, it's not partisan - it helps all politicians. The political establishment (and one could make the case that the governing establishment) needs an information outlet of record that is understood by the population to be the official status, position, state of play, the real situation etc. Without that, the political class has no ability to generate buy-in in the constituency.

    In other words, if there is no credible place to announce that this (whatever "this" is: "A exhibit 1") is the compromise reached by your representative and the opposition (the implication being "and so therefore the negotiations are complete and you, good citizen, should go along with what we are announcing") then the citizenry will continue to advocate for their interests well past the end of negotiations. (I'm sure you can see how this lessens the power of the initial negotiator substantially) What is the point of having a representative if you will never know (officially) what the outcome of the negotiations are from a news source you can trust to be (at least mostly) objective. THAT is why the newspapers might get a bailout. It's much larger than one issue.

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