Blogs and micro-blogs have greatly enhanced my communication: I can reach out, I can share, comment, learn etc.
Here is what they can’t do:
They will not replace papers and magazines as my #1 resource of information.
Comparing a leading paper and news blog might explain where I am coming from:
Look and feel
The Huffington post and NYT and they simple don’t match up. One is a blog (and looks like a blog) – the other is an online paper (at least for me) with social media features. But it still resembles the look and feel of a paper.
Arianna Huffington has found a great number of contributors. But they don’t match up against Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman and co.
First hand information
The NYT can (still) afford a network of international correspondents. Someone sending a Tweet from a war zone is not the same to me as a seasoned reporter sharing his findings.
Blogs and papers are different in that respective as well. Blogs will focus on what gets them readers. A paper has to keep this in mind as well but its main purpose is to present the news – no matter how popular or unpopular they are. They serve the public – not so much a target audience.
Our media landscape is highly fragmented and segmented. The one area where that is not completely true are the main papers. My dad calls me and asks me “have you read this”. In most cases the answer is yes and he is not referring to blogs. Papers make for the better water cooler talk – even if you don’t have one.
This is maybe the biggest reason. I’ve been reading the same papers for two to three decades. I switched to their online versions by now. I am accustomed to their way of feeding my brain.
Bloggers have a different writing style. Maybe geared more towards replies and instant gratification? By now I am used to that in areas of information that papers don’t traditionally own. But for sports, politics, economy, arts, etc. my brain still prefers “old style”.
As for reliability of information
Most bloggers are doing a great job in getting their facts straight. Plus self regulation through commenting works.
On the other hand papers have had epic slips. I remember the Hitler diaries being published by one of the most credible sources in Germany. Only to find out later they were forged. Ouch.
Bloggers were also not the ones that lost their voice during the 9/11 aftermath. It was called embedded journalism and not embedded blogging.
I greatly respect many bloggers and the work they put into sharing. This is not to belittle any of them.
But these are the main reasons why each of my online days still begins and ends with the websites of the leading papers. And that’s why I would gladly subscribe to my favorite papers if this will save them.
As for Twitter:
That’s a whole separate story. But I post too much about Twitter already. Time to exercise some self constraint.
As for TV:
The last meaningful TV news coverage (except elections) must have been on CNN during desert storm. Ok, I am overstating a little but you get my point.
Where do you get your news from?
Or are you one of those who stick to the neighborhood newsletter? ;-)