"The smallest blog can break the biggest news."

Yale Global’s Mark Glaser writes about blogs and bloggers:

In the US political sphere, boundaries are again being erased. Bloggers have led the charge to “fact check” the media, gaining prominence for pushing stories such as the questionable documents used by “60 Minutes II” in a report on President Bush’s National Guard service. In one case, Australian blogger Tim Blair unearthed a fabricated source in a Chicago Tribune story, leading to the reporter’s dismissal.

In these cases, bloggers have filled gaps in mainstream journalism. When corporate profits took center stage at media companies in the ’80s and ’90s, most news organizations cut back on fact-checkers and proofreading. A citizen brigade of thousands of interested readers checking controversial stories bolsters these strapped organizations. Consider it the new open-source method of fact-checking.

Despite the media rhetoric about bloggers being uninformed ranters in pajamas, and bloggers who deride the content of mainstream media (shortened to “MSM”), the two camps actually have a symbiotic relationship. The media needs bloggers for fact-checking, expert opinions, and for pushing stories on the edges. And the bloggers need the media as grist for their mills