Friday, February 02, 2007

Blogs, blogging and no such thing as a free lunch.

I commented on Glenn Greenwald's decision to move his blog to Salon.com yesterday. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, he got some grief over this. Typically, he makes an articulate and reasoned argument in response. However, it was the part I'm quoting below that I really liked and it reminded me of something I wrote a while back on the topic of blogs & the MSM.
The political blogosphere is driven by many factors, but the predominant one, I think, is a pervasive dissatisfaction with the dominant media and political institutions in this country. The blogosphere is essentially a reaction to that dissatisfaction -- an attempt to create an alternative venue where citizens can debate political issues and organize and inform one another without having to rely upon our country's empty media stars and the myopic, corrupt opinion-making institutions which have wrought so much damage and continue to do so.

The principal value of the blogosphere is that it democratizes our political discourse almost completely. Anyone can become a "pundit," find an audience, report facts, create a community of like-minded citizens and activists, and influence the public discourse -- all without having to mold oneself into what is demanded by The Washington Post and without having to care about pleasing the editors of Time Magazine.

In that regard, the blogosphere enables a very potent freedom. Pre-blogosphere, in order to have one's voice heard, that voice had to conform or be squeezed into the suffocating orthodoxies of the dominant media outlets. That is no longer the case. They are no longer the gatekeepers of the public discourse, and the blogosphere enables people to say what they want, how they want, without caring if that alienates or offends a small group of Beltway media elites.

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