The tireless debate about Blogs v. Journalism will not end anytime soon. Mostly, it’s the journos who are posing this question (hey, they have to fill time somehow). And here’s Wonkette pointing to such a discussion.
Wonkette is the perfect example of how blogs are different than traditional journalism. First, Wonkette knows how to dig up links and freely uses hyperlinks whenever possible to supplement her discussions, which are admittedly not serious news reports (at least not always). The New York Times has a web page, but when was the last (or first) time you saw a hyperlink embedded in the text of a story posted to the web site? There is a skill that is highly developed in most bloggers, which is completely non-existent in the mainstream media: how to find information on the web that is linkable.
I suspect that as more and more information becomes available on the web the skill of finding it quickly and knowing how to incorporate that information into one’s writing will be something that bloggers will tend to possess and mainstream journalists will tend not to have facility with. When the average citizen becomes more tuned into the web (i.e. when our kids get older) this disparity between bloggers and mainstream journos will make a difference to them and at that point one of two things will happen: either (1) the public will start to abandon mainstream media sources in large droves, or (2) the mainstream media will evolve to appear more like blogs. Probably it will be some combination of those two, and definitely a lot more hyperlinking.