I RECKON THAT during the course of an average week, I spend more time reading the printed word on a page than the pixelated word on a screen. That's a lot of reading because it encompasses all the text feeds on 125 blogs every day and many of the articles in a minimum of six magazines, 11 newspapers and one book every week.
Those who enthuse about blogs often venerate amateurs and distrust professionals. Mainstream Irish media gets cited as a springboard for discussion by bloggers more often than it gets criticised for content, coverage or trustworthiness.
Nicolas Carr¹ says you need to see blogs for what they're worth and you need to acknowledge the blogosphere's "superficiality, its emphasis on opinion over reporting, its echolalia, its tendency to reinforce rather than challenge ideological extremism and segregation."
Big media can do things that little bloggers cannot do:
- Fund in-depth reporting and research
- Underwrite projects that can take months or years to reach fruition
- Employ editors and proofreaders and other unsung protectors of quality work
- Position, with equal weight, opposing ideologies on the same page
It's that blog-balance that causes the most turbulence in my electronic reading. For every new feed I subscribe to read, I need to know the feed that it balances. Because above all else, it's the balance between perspectives that makes an educated reader.