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Why blogging is bad for journalism.

In my previous post, I talked about why blogging and social media were good for journalism.  I concentrated on the fact that free and uninhibited information correspond with the basic values that journalists aspire to.

But I forgot a few important details.  Oh yeah… time and cost.

Unfortunately, free and uninhibited information does not necessarily make for a good business model.  These characteristics are equally important.

Firstly, blogs and most interactive media are free.

There are no subscription costs or newsstand sales to rely on and overhead costs are basically nonexistent.  This gives new media a decisive edge against the traditional giants.

As a result, a reader basically has an infinite number of free sources of information.  So why would anyone ever buy a magazine or newspaper again when you can find the same info for free elsewhere?

Also factor into the equation the opportunity cost of buying a newspaper vs. trying to find the information using some type of free media.

It’s getting easier and easier to comb the internet and find what you are looking for whether it be a blog post, tweet or some other source.  Compare that to the (relative) strain of leaving your house and finding a newspaper and the result is predictable.

Chances are, there’s an app for that anyway.

Secondly, interactive media is uninhibited.

Interactive media does not have to play by the same rules that the traditional outlets do.  Blogs aren’t limited by a daily, weekly or monthly print schedule and the authors don’t have to ask their editors for permission to pursue a story.

When news events happen, bloggers can react instantly, effectively and without restriction.

For example, while Michael Isikoff struggled with his superiors at Newsweek to break the story on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998, the Drudge Report, a blog written by Matt Drudge, published the story online.

It’s hard for traditional media to keep up in an online world and we are seeing these challenges manifest themselves through the massive layoffs and financial struggles that many traditional news outlets are confronting.

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