Blogs as Mass Media

People have been tossing around the possibility that blogging might be the next “mass media” to emerge for a long time now. Most recently, Bene Diction pointed out a column by geek political analyst John C. Dvorak about the phenomenon:

Let me stop here for a moment and make some specific predictions. Within the next year, both David Letterman and Jay Leno will make jokes about blogs and even discuss them. “Nightline” will do an entire show on blogging.

Do I think that blogs can become mainstream? Absolutely. I’ve only been blogging for a little while, but I’ve been reading blogs much, much longer, and I believe that blogs have the potential to one day surpass mainstream media in the current arena of competition among the media – news analysis and commentary.

The characteristic definition for a blog has been a frequently-updated page with dated entries, newest entries on top. This definition is very broad; it covers everything from diaries to blogs maintained by traditional media outlets, such as Christianity Today. In this entry, I’m only going to be referring to bloggers who are more or less freelance news commentators.

Traditional media is in a pretty secure position. They have a network of reporters worldwide, contracts with news syndicators like Associated Press and Reuters, and lots of cash on hand. There’s two places where blogs might be able to get their collective foot in the door – deadlines and space.

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