January 3, 2009

I’VE OFTEN ARGUED that the relationship between blogs and Big Media should be thought of as symbiotic rather than competitive, and here’s some more evidence. Jack Lail, managing editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel, emails that InstaPundit sent them nearly a million pageviews last year, and holds two spots (for instapundit.com and pjmedia.com/instapundit) on their list of top 20 referrers. Smart news people — like Lail — are more interested in getting bloggers to deliver traffic than in complaining about blogger competition. And smart news organizations will take advantage of new technology to facilitate their hard-news reporting ability via the “Army of Davids” approach, rather than complaining that people who post breaking-news reports on blogs or Twitter don’t have journalism degrees.

It’s interesting to me that we see far more anger from Old Media folks aimed at bloggers, etc., than at Craigslist, even though Craigslist has done far more economic harm to the newspaper industry than bloggers, who probably add eyeballs rather than (as Craigslist does) subtracting them. My suspicion is that the Old Media folks care more about prestige and position than money, and bloggers have hurt them in the prestige and position department. Of course, caring more about prestige and position than money isn’t a formula for a flourishing business . . . .

Meanwhile, here’s more on how bloggers and Big Media can work together in covering an issue.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails: “Craigslist is stealing revenue, but most reporters and editors don’t worry about revenue. Bloggers are challenging the MSM’s function as gatekeepers of the news, and in particular the MSM’s ability to suppress stories. That DOES directly affect reporters and editors.” Indeed. And that’s not lost on readers.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Thoughts on Craigslist from Ron Coleman.

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