It seems to me that the mainstream media are largely in denial about the blogosphere, often taking opportunities to run it down and dismiss it as a place where only crazies hang out. They do this while reading it religiously and, I’ll warrant, using it as a way of keeping tabs on how various stories are playing, especially at the grass-roots level. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of crazies out there in blogland, but you’recrazy if you think that’s all there is to it.


So it was interesting to see two major newspapers dealing with the role of blogs over the last few weeks, first in an article by Trevor Cook in the Fin Review payment required) and also in a piece by Julia Baird in theSMH.

The Cook piece sought to deal with the issue of quality in the blogosphere by comparing the approaches of two bloggers, John Quiggin and Tim Blair, saying:

Blair and Quiggin represent two strands of commentary blogging. Blair is tabloid and provocative, something more akin to a blogging shock jock, while Quiggin, though not dull, tends to stick more strictly to his academic and policy orientations.”

Elsewhere, Rob Schaap has been contemplating the lifeworld, while Geelong journalist Bernard Slattery is saying I told you so about the Spanish elections and also about some recent anti-war demonstrations. Steve Edwards loves coups, and Zem is disturbed by the new terrorist laws.

Rob Corr is is your one-stop shop for Labor logos, and Yobbo is not going to be applying for a job at ASIO. Gary Sauer-Thompson notes that his blog is “becoming the site of conflicting opinion about international affairs” but I think he means it in a good way. Tony the Teacher is showing his age. Oh yeah, go check out John Abercrombie’s new Powerup site and see what you make of it.

The Catallaxy blog has a new home, but they still think markets rule. William Burrough’s Baboon is having an unusually busy period and I notice Wogblog is asking to be nominated for Blogjam. Hasn’t happened, but here’s a link anyway to what she thinks of Mark Latham. James on L’affaire Thorpe.

Three quickies from overseas: Randy on the other hemisphereyou’ve-got-mail syndrome; and you’re hit-pick of the week.

Over here in the capital city of the hegemon du jour, all the political talk has been about former counterterrorism supremo Richard Clarke, his new book and his testimony at the 9/11 Commission. Kerryn Higgs’ piece isa good summary, while Bargarz collects links and offers opinions about why Clarke is not to be trusted. If you want to read some extracts from the book, as well as some comments, I’ve been doing a rolling review at my place. More next week, including bias in the blogosphere.

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