Blogs: The new democratic mediumSometimes after church on Sunday I will watch Meet the Press to see what the press, the pundits, and the politicians are saying at the end of a given week. This week, Tim Russert's guest was John McCain, and among the questions Tim Russert asked McCain was whether or not "partisan rhetoric" needed to be "toned down" and this was how he began that question:
"Does some of the partisan rhetoric need to be toned down, do the blogs need to be toned down...?"
Blogging has become such an important medium that it warrants mention on Meet the Press as one of the many things that the political soft-types in this country think needs to be "toned down."
What bloggers and blogs (on both sides of the spectrum) are doing is to democratize the media and the press, putting news gathering, reporting, and commentary in the hands of the people themselves, and as we have seen in the Tennessee blogosphere, in the hands of those making the news.
Do weblogs have spin? Of course, many of us do have our own views and our blogs reflect that. If you read a variety of blogs (not just those that agree with you) you can get a variety of takes on the news. Weblogs give the news back to the people to give us a more populist view of news, and even to make news with their blogs. As computers in America become more affordable, and more people who don't have computers in their homes gain internet access through schools, libraries, and public terminals, more Americans won't just read blogs, they'll create more of them as well.
The mainstream media doesn't like competition, and I suspect the arrival of the blog as a media form is just an itch they don't know how to scratch.