Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere: Why are blogs good reading? "A survey of 10,000 blog readers earlier this year conducted by Blogads found that 61 percent of respondents found blogs to be "more honest" than other media outlets. .. [Technorati exec] Hodder gives four reasons for trusting bloggers over general-assignment reporters:
- Niche expertise. Newspapers try to cover the whole world, while bloggers can be experts with a deep knowledge about a topic like open-source software or micro-biology.
- Transparency in motives. Bloggers are upfront about their biases and subjective approach.. . Most journalists are constrained by an institutional objectivity. "I often read a reporter's story and wonder, what's their experience? Where are they coming from? What's the context? What do they really think?" Hodder says.
- Transparency in process. Bloggers link to documents, sources and supporting evidence to buttress their own authority.
- Forthrightness about mistakes. When bloggers err, the credible ones publish a mea culpa and take responsibility, with the corrected information alongside their original posting. Not so with newspapers, whose front-page mistakes are corrected in an inside page, or broadcast news, where mistakes are almost never acknowledged.
Hodder posted a chart of the most-frequently-referenced news sources and blogs, about 2/3 mainstream (NYT, Guardian) and 1/3 bloggers. 7:57:58 PM
Wash Post apologizes:
"Another major publication (this time the Washington Post) has come forward to indicate that they should have been more aggressive
in covering the question marks surrounding the WMD stories during the build-up to the Iraq war. Not only were they soft in their coverage of the administration's view of things. They also buried some stories that called the WMD charges into question.
Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. explains: "We were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part."
Of course, that in many ways is the nature of today's front page and cable news. All the heavy hitting is saved for the front page "news analysis" stories. Better to get to the bottom of the President's political strategy and motivations for saying or doing something than to actually see if what is being said is true
. It is the nature of the beast in today's news culture. What do you know more about? The inside baseball strategies of the Bush and Kerry camps or the details about (and the holes in) the policies they push?" 12:33:01 AM