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the Big Blog Company | The first green shoots
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
September 22 2004
The first green shoots
David Carr • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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Speaking for myself alone, I always find it quite unsettling to find my ideas accurately reflected in the Guardian:

CBS’s admission that its story of George Bush’s special treatment when with the Texas air national guard was deeply flawed is being seen as a key victory for the new “blogging” community of the internet against old media.

It is being seen that way because… er, it is that way.

CBS was doubly at fault. It failed to appreciate the force of the thousands of voluntary fact-checkers out there on the web (let alone trying to harness their power in advance), while also failing to interview bloggers after the event as part of an ongoing story.

No, not at fault, just behind the curve.

In fact, bloggers are often people very expert in their own fields who attract other experts when issues in their domain are newsworthy. Stories in old media can be fact-checked instantaneously and the journalists and their newspapers held to account.


There is no doubt that the tectonic plates of journalism are moving. There is awesome potential in the internet as a gatherer, distributor and checker of news - not least through instant delivery channels such as mobile phones. This does not mean old media will die. But it will have to adapt quickly to what has so far been an asymmetrical relationship.

Blogs have battened off newspapers and many newspapers, including the Guardian, have launched their own blogs. But most newspapers, let alone TV stations, have not embraced the blogging revolution as an essential part of the future rather than an irritant in the background. The CBS saga may prove to be the wake-up call they needed.

In the interests of accuracy (well, I am a blogger!) it behoves me to point out that the Guardian has always displayed a readiness to recognise new tehcnologies and trends and they have been aware of the growing presence and significance of blogging for some time.

That said, this is the first mainstream media admission I have encountered that has been willing to admit that the mainstream media itself is under serious assault.

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