CNN foreign affairs correspondent Christiane Amanpour offers a few thoughts on the merits, or lack thereof, of blogging:
Sometimes it is incredibly useful, for instance, in closed societies such as Burma. Some of the images, some of the stories that have come out have been by the Internet and by citizen journalists. And that has been indispensable in terms of knowing what is going on when journalists like myself and others cannot get visas to get in there and cannot operate. … In that regard I think the bloggers or the citizen journalists are very brave and very useful.
I think that in the West sometimes blogging is an excuse for sitting back and just commenting on life as it passes by and putting out your opinions on what is happening. Sometimes those are interesting, but not always. And the truth of the matter is I do not believe, no matter how sophisticated the delivery platform, I don’t think there is a substitute or should there be a substitute for professional journalism, which comes with training, with experience, with credibility, with developing trust based on the accuracy of your record in the field. I think that is an absolute must. That must stay with us so that people have an accurate and objective reference point for their information.
Sounds about right to me. I would add, though, that while blogging is not a substitute for conventional journalism, it does provide a useful check on more traditional media. What do you think?