Somehow, that kinda sums me up ;)
Dominic Tweedie, over at Communist University: Aggression, Active And Passive, picked up on the Tim Cohen piece on bloggers. Tim Cohen is Chief Reporter at Business Day, although I would probably have missed the article as I no longer read the site as much as I used to. Sean Badal and I were responsible for the web site's redesign in 2000, where we rescued it from it's ghastly orange of the period.
Sadly to say, the site has hardly progressed in the last 5 years and the basic design is still mine. I actually got into trouble with my boss for doing such a good job on the site and was prevented from working on it any it further, but that's another story.
The Mail & Guardian site, in contrast, demonstrates a thoroughly different attitude to blogs and blogging, so much so that they make great use of Technorati and have integrated it into the site.
The point though, I guess, is that I spend more time reading blogs now than ever before. The controlled media? The media that Mister Cohen is a part of? Quite frankly, I don't see the point of schlepping print copy, that is mostly just advertising, to the recycling bin.
But if Tim Cohen is telling us that we don't read his paper anymore, maybe it's because the content isn't necessarily "reliable, safe, sensible, honest or fair" either.
I read widely on the net each day, and I prefer to assemble my own "daily paper" - something that I started doing many years ago when I first encountered raw Reuters and AP feeds and realised that 90% of international news in SA came from these 2 sources.
Maybe Tim Cohen should spend more time in the blogsphere and less time glorifying newspapers because "[t]he ethos of the news gathering and editing process are artful things". Rather, I think Dominic Tweedie makes an excellent point about the quality of the writing which makes all the difference.
I am inclined to follow blogs where I appreciate the quality of writing and no longer see why I should fork out cash for a newspaper, when the writing has been mediated through an editorial process that is careful not to offend any advertisers. There is an important debate about the future of newspapers, but panning bloggers isn't the real issue is it?