Monday, March 9, 2009
Obama is dissing economic blogs, saying they are unreliable.
The editor of the Aurora Sentinel says that there is "very little real news on blogs".
Time magazine asks "Does the News Industry Deserve a Bailout?", and trumpets the heroic work of mainstream newspapers:
Politicians have every reason to want to see print media fail . . . too many governors and congressmen have lost jobs after newspaper investigations to make the relationship between Fourth Estate and politicians a comfortable one. A neutered press would benefit a number of elected officials.
But the whole debate about blogs versus mainstream media is nonsense.
In fact, many of the world's top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs. For example (in no particular order):
And the conclusions of economists who don't have their own blogs are collected by other bloggers and on YouTube videos. For example, this blog rounds up everything Marc Faber says.
The same is true in every other field: politics, science, history, international relations, etc.
So what is "news"? What the largest newspapers choose to cover? Or what various leading experts are saying - and oftentimes heatedly debating one against the other?
As blogger Michael Rivero pointed out years ago, mainstream newspapers aren't losing readers because of the Internet as an abstract new medium. They are losing readers because they have become nothing but official stenographers for the powers-that-be, and people have lost all faith in them.
Indeed, only 5% of the pundits discussing various government bailout plans on cable news shows are real economists. Why not hear what real economists and financial experts say?
To the extent that blogs offer actual news and the mainstream media does not, the latter will continue to lose eyeballs and ad revenues to the former.