I am currently reading, “The World is Flat” by Andrew Friedman. While the book itself is arguably one of the more significant literary works of the past decade, there is a specific quote that seems to ring true in regards to the re-emergence of SBCOutpost.com in the blogging world. We have recently been accused of trying to be something we are not, and this quote addresses some of the same thoughts that many of us have had about the need for alternative news sources such as SBCOutpost and helps explain (at least in part) our commitment to the Outpost. The quote occurs at a time in the book when an independent journalist, who runs a DC blog/news site, was asked about what motivated him to become his own news network. His response is telling…
“Being an independent journalist is a hobby that sprang from my frustration about biased, incomplete, selective, and/or incompetent information gathering by the mainstream media.” explained [Bill] Ardolino……”Independent journalism and its relative, blogging, are expressions of market forces – a need is not being met by current information sources.”
After that quote, Ardolino goes on to share some information about “breaking” the story about Dan Rather’s poor choice of sources for his story in regards to President Bush’s National Guard service. The rest of this story is a good reminder of the power of individual media to change the course of history. It is my hope that many will recognize that individualized (and offered) media is here to stay, and if not embraced could lead to the exclusion of some in the mainstream of modern life.
“Do I have more power, power to get my message out, yes. The [Bob] Schieffer interview actually brought in about twenty-five thousand visits in twenty-four hours. My peak day since I’ve started was fifty-five thousand when I helped break “Rathergate”…I interviewed the first forensics expert in the Dan Rather National Guard story, and he was then specifically picked up by the Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Globe, NYT, etc. within forty-eight hours.
The pace of information gathering and correction in the CBS fake memo story was astounding,” he continued. “It wasn’t just that CBS News ‘stonewalled’ after the fact, it was arguably that they couldn’t keep up with an army of dedicated fact-checkers. The speed and openness of the medium is something that runs rings around the old process…..As uberblogger Glenn Reynolds likes to say, blogs have given people a chance to stop yelling at their TV and have a say in the process. I think that they serve as sort of a ‘fifth estate’ that works in conjunction with the mainstream media (often by keeping an eye on them or feeding them raw info) and potentially function as a journalism and commentary farm system that provides a new means to establish success.”