As much as political bloggers criticize the media for its disingenuous denial of bias and the media belittles bloggers for their blatantly irresponsible bias, a more symbiotic relationship between the two clearly is developing. Whether it’s due to cutbacks at the papers or the rising prominence of blogs, a new informational dynamic has emerged.
Obviously, bloggers get a great deal of their base information from media reporting. For me, WaPo’s Anita Kumar’s micro-reporting of Virginia politics has been a very good (and dare I say unbiased?) source of information as has Tom Jackman’s “State of NoVa” - which is reporting but mixed with a fair amount of blog-like opinion. (Editorial Note: I realize saying anything positive about the Post likely will result in a public stoning on a soccer field, but so be it)
On the other side of the coin, the MSM is beginning to recognize the relevance of blogs, even local ones. WaPo and RTD, for example, even go so far as to list lil’ ol’ tooconservative.com on their websites. More than that, though, the MSM is getting its information from the blogs. You may recall the attention this blog received from Fox News last fall in Loudoun Insider’s post on the Obamazombie. More recently, Richmonder broke a story about the SWAT team patrolling the abortion protesters around the capitol. Even bigger than those stories, though, Liz Miller, Lowell Feld and I were recently quoted in Northern Virginia magazine on our opinions on the Republican pledge (note sarcasm here).
It all goes to show that the two feed on each other, and, together, they provide the public with a pretty complete picture of the political scene, especially the local political scene that’s often overlooked by the press. MSM generally is heavier on facts; blogs heavier on opinion. Each has its place in the ever democratizing “fourth estate.”