Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mainstream Journos "Intimidated" by Blogs

I'm a fan of Jim Rutenberg, but I think this is one of the most overwrought examples of journalistic hand-wringing that I've read in a long time. It's almost as if if media criticism is a new thing now that its being delivered via the net.

Practicing cheap and dirty politics, playing fast and loose with the facts and even lying: Accusations like these, and worse, have been slung nonstop this year.

The accused in this case are not the candidates, but the mainstream news media. And the accusers are an ever-growing army of Internet writers, many of them partisans, who reach hundreds of thousands of people a day.

Journalists covering the campaign believe the intent is often to bully them into caving to a particular point of view. They insist the efforts have not swayed them in any significant way, though others worry the criticism could eventually have a chilling effect.

Many of the Internet writers say they have been empowered by the Web to begin serving as a long-needed real-time check on mainstream outlets and reporters who they say wield too much power, sometimes irresponsibly and often with hidden partisan motives.

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