Journalists increasingly read blogs to pick up tips. Blogs have become a network of capillaries that feed the nation’s veins of information. For that reason, blogging’s freewheeling, unfettered style makes it a juicy target for manipulation. In these early days, blogging still has the charm of guileless transparency, which in the blogosphere means that everyone — no matter how cranky or hysterical — is presumed to be speaking his or her mind with sincerity. It is this air of conviction that makes bloggers such potent advocates.
This year, a limited number of bloggers will be given credentials to attend and cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. But Alex S. Jones in the LA Times asserts that the bloggers, “those witty, candid, irreverent, passionate, shrewd and outrageous Internet chroniclers,” have not been turned into journalists by this sudden act of legitimization. Bloggers, he says, don’t add reporting to the personal views they post. The common characteristics of the “blogosphere” are “vulgarity, scorching insults, bitter denunciations, one-sided arguments, erroneous assertions and the array of qualities that might be expected from a blustering know-it-all in a bar.” Ahh, the heady smell of Schlitz mixed with Pulitzer.