Michael Getler, ombudsman for the Washington Post, reflects on the struggle of the printed newspaper to stay relevant in today’s world (free subscription required). He is very even-handed in his treatment of bloggers as well:
The blogosphere is a wonderful thing, also in keeping with who we are. But it doesn’t seem so new to me because it does what readers have always done: read, write, analyze, complain, correct. It has always been true that if you make a mistake on even the most arcane matter in a newspaper, someone out there will catch it and let you know. The Web and the explosion of personal blogs, or Web logs and journals, have tapped into and greatly expanded that public reservoir of knowledge and understanding in important ways by challenging the accuracy of reporting and adding analysis.
He also comments on the tradeoff between speed, and taking the time to getting the facts, and to think:
Bloggers were the first to uncover some things recently, but that doesn’t mean that traditional news organizations would not have come to those facts as well. The difference between newspapers and some of today’s instant-delivery alternatives is that newspapers make use of time — time for trained and experienced journalists to report, time for editors to get between reporters and the public, time to think a little longer about things.
He believe that newspapers can still survive by sticking to hard next, and “more journalism that is unflinching yet beyond reproach — in other words, trustworthy.”
(Link courtesy of The Editor’s Log, Greensboro News-Record)