Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who's Breaking News?: The latest retort from the mainstream media to the rise of the blogosphere appears to be that blogs do not actually break any news. It’s a theme John Gapper of the Financial Times takes up here.

There’s some truth to the charge of course. A great many blogs break very little original news, restricting themselves to aggregation, commentary and analysis. I’d still consider that journalism, but it’s not news reporting.

But there are blogs breaking news. The conservative blogs that exposed problems with the 60 Minutes broadcast about the president’s National Guard service provide the most prominent example. But if you want news on Iraq, for example, you’ll learn a lot more from Baghdad Burning than you will from the New York Times. There are blogs that cover political speeches and other events faster and in more depth than the mainstream media. And as Gapper concedes, there are technology and automotive blogs breaking news all the time.

But the other problem with this line of argument is that it over-estimates the amount of original reporting that newspapers do. Take away all the stuff that’s “repurposed” from press releases, or based on Reuters or AP reports, take away all the stuff that blogs do just as well as newspapers (coverage of White House press conferences, analysis of speeches and statements from politicos) and how much of the average daily newspaper do you have left? Not as much as Gapper supposes.


  • At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would argue that blogs break a high majority of tech news before the MSM. Whether this will filter down into mainstream news in the coming years is anyone's guess.


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