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News at the Speed of Light

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Bloggers Scoop Mainstream Media

Bloggers have long been the brunt of criticism and ridicule from mainstream journalists. They look down on us like so much rabble - a bunch of misfits and amateur would-be, wannabes deserving of their scorn and disdain.

Well it seems that bloggers have finally gained the upper hand this time. Why? Because unlike our conventional cousins we are free spirits not encumbered under the thumb of corporate bosses and political influence.

Bloggers don't need to wait for an editor's approval to run with a story, and that gives us a distinct advantage. So much so that in the future bloggers may very well end up becoming the preferred voice of the public, because we ARE the public and on the bleeding edge of the news.

In fact, recently we became the news - making us an emerging technological tour de force that can no longer be ignored. The recent Dan Rather controversy is a perfect example of this.

In case you've been living in a vacuum, Rather came under scrutiny when the validity of his source was challenged for his 60 Minutes news story about Bush's National Guard service.

Bloggers went even further to lay claim that Rather's sources were fabricated and in fact fraudulent. Whether or not the documents are a fraud is secondary. The real story is that bloggers were the first who broke the story, and openly challenged mainstream journalism turning it on its ear.

The claims made by bloggers against Rather may very well end being proven, or they may not. That is not the point (at least for the purposes of this post).

This is an example of bloggers (i.e. the public) challenging mainstream journalists and forcing them to take notice. It is clear evidence of the influence that bloggers now have, and down the road I predict a convergence of blogging and journalism.

That is exciting news and an impetus for bloggers, but with power comes responsibility. This story also demonstrates the need for bloggers to adhere to high standards of professionalism. Something that is clearly a problem no matter which side of the fence you are sitting on.

This marks a remarkable milestone for the blogosphere. These are exciting times dear bloggers, so the Bloke says the next time you think you're wasting your time talking to yourself - think again. Because Dan Rather just might be reading.

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Update: It seems that Michelle Malkin agrees with the Bloke

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