For those with time to notice, blogs are also a great cheap farm system for talent. You’ve got tens of thousands of potential columnists writing for free, fueled by passion, operating in a free market where the cream rises quickly. | Best of all, perhaps, the phenomenon is simply entertaining. When do you last recall reading some writer and thinking “damn, he sure looks like he’s having fun”? It’s what buttoned-down reporters thought of their long-haired brethren back in the 1960s. The 2003 version may not be so immediately identifiable on sight — and that may be the most promising development of all.
— Matt Welch —Emerging Alternatives: Blogworld (Columbia Journalism Review)
Excellent overview of weblogs from the perspective of a journalist. Welch laments that the alternative weekly newspapers, once famous for their offbeat egalitarianism, have become comformist and stodgy. But he also warns,
[A]lmost every criticism about blogs is valid – they often are filled with cheap shots, bad spelling, the worst kind of confirmation bias, and an extremely off-putting sense of self-worth (one that this article will do nothing to alleviate).