This post was inspired by a piece at Instapundit. on what to do about the left-wing MSM and he also links to J.D. Johannes’ thoughts on the matter. In a nutshell, Reynold’s advocates supporting alternative media and Johannes emphasizes the blogosphere doing more original reporting. These are worthy and admirable endeavors, but I think there is potentially more that can be done to combat the MSM. First, I think two fundamental things we have to look at; the blogosphere’s resources and capabilities, and potential allies.The blogosphere’s main resource is, obviously, its people. One of its main capabilities is acting as an ad hoc wire service. A couple of quick examples would be Michelle Malkin’s proliferation of the Air America scandal, a more recent example would be the Missouri goon squad story. In both instances the blogosphere picked up original local reporting and gave it far more exposure than it would normally have received.
The blogosphere’s potential allies are those that lie outside the MSM. In the above linked post Glenn Reynolds makes this observation:
There’s a vast underserved population out there, for news, entertainment, movies, etc., and if people start serving it, the current “mainstream” media won’t be so mainstream anymore. So if you’re unhappy with current offerings, put your money where your mouth is.
Reynolds hits the nail on the head, while I believe that he is referring to individuals, I suspect there are many small, local media outlets that are just as disgusted with AP, et al as we are. How can the blogosphere serve that “underserved population”?
The blogosphere has the potential to offer them content. Original content, both the stories the MSM refuses to run with and original reporting/research done by bloggers. The obvious, op/ed pieces, there are writers in the blogosphere every bit as good as most all the syndicated pundits. We could also offer them our networking capabilities. Instead of being a sporadic ad hoc wire service, we put out the effort to become a consistent wire service. I think this can be achieved at the national level, anyway.
I’m thinking a “Drudge-like” site that only links local, original reporting and non-syndicated op/ed pieces from both the blogosphere and local papers/news outlets and makes them available to those same outlets. We need to reach out to identify allied traditional media. Let them know that we’re here and that we can hook them up with content that by-passes the MSM.
I hope all will agree that coming up with ways to take on the MSM is important, even if you think I’m out of my tree with this idea. I also realize I have left some questions unanswered, namely, money. I would hope many of the bloggers and local media would barter money for exposure. Reynolds discusses the closing of the New York Sun, we potentially could help such papers, not with subscriptions, but cost savings on content. It’s just an idea.