Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why We Still Need the Mainstream Media

Why We Still Need the Mainstream Media
David Hauslaib's Jossip

The New York Times is out of cash, Tribune Co. is bankrupt, CBS is going to be broken up into little-bitty pieces and 525 magazines closed last year alone. With the demise of all these various forms of media, you'd think that bloggers would be happy to see their main competition defeated. But you couldn't be more wrong. Below, some of the reasons we still need traditional media to stick around.

News isn't ubiquitous, opinions are

While smaller, online publications will be lucky to scoop one or two items a day before any competitors can get them, the mainstream media is still our primary source of news coverage. Send Maureen Dowd or David Carr off to Washington and tell them to cover Obama's recent press conference, and what you're going to get back is a scarce number of soundbites combined with the a lot of colorful rhetoric. As much as people complain about the 24-hour news cycle, it's channels like C-SPAN and BBC that are constantly covering events as they occur, no matter how dry or boring they might be. That allows opinion writers and video editors to take the best of whatever happened in a day, mash it up, and bring it back to you in easily digestible two-minute servings. But without the raw footage, we'd all just be approximating what happened on a day-to-day basis.

Where would the world be if all news sources were snarky blogs?

Yeah, there's a reason that the whole "citizen journalism" thing doesn't really work out. Many people can write, but few people have the skills to report objectively while in the middle of a high-pressure situation. As much as I value the funny musings of many blogs, there is no way I'm going to take Israeli-Palestine updates from Perez Hilton, even if drawing cum all over the Gaza Strip is funnier than what you'd normally find in AP.

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