Reading Mark Cuban’s Blogging vs Traditional Media – This time its personal (via Scripting News) made me think about the comparison from a different – the reader’s perspective. Mark says:
Bloggers drive blogs, share price drives traditional media. Blogging is personal, traditional media is corporate.
Traditional media goes to work, bloggers live their work.
I agree with him to the extent that blogging is more personal than corporate, but I am not sure if this means that only blogging results into better or more authentic news. I personally feel that I would look for different types of news on blogs and in news papers/sites. News that need to be backed up by strong investigation or proof are difficult to be handled by a single person. There are several skills required to report such news and would require some kind of collaboration to be able to compose a cohesive piece. I would look at traditional media where credibility, authenticity and good research might can affect integrity of the news.
Blogs are more about personal say (opinion, advice, news, expertise, …). Like Mark rightly says, blogging is personal. In blogging, you are dealing with a person and his/her character. This is difficult with traditional media, maybe except for some personalities and columnists. With the traditional media, you associate with the brand, with blogs you associate with the person. Ironically, even if you read individuals in blogs, the ultimate value is offered by the entire blogging community. It is really a democratic way of building a society with individual contribution.
Sometimes its the combination of both of them that provides the entire picture. The traditional media can start with the news, but the trail ends in the comments and discussions on some blogs. Here is the another big difference I see as a reader. Blogs are open to discussions, whereas with traditional media the interaction is usually tedious and lengthy. With comments you can build up conversations with people on news, just like you would at a bus stand or in a pub. Traditional media are not built for that.
Traditional media have to behave as businesses along with news sources, blogs need not. Blogs can afford to address a narrower audience, I can find a blog which gives out some news which is trivial for rest of the world, but is valuable to me. Traditional media might run out of business in such cases.
Robert Scoble writes about Microsoft, but usually provides information and perceptions that are difficult to be found in the mainstream media. But as you keep reading his blog, you also relate to him as a person. His readers have built a relationship with him and have supported and read him when he has also blogged about his family.
I feel that blogs and traditional media can build an ecosystem. The recent trends of traditional media starting blogs or blogs being syndicated to the traditional media can lead us to a better news world.
Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.