Reporting and the Internet

It seems you can’t spend five minutes on the Internet without coming across an opinion piece on the end of traditional media or an article riffing on the age of the blog. I’ve so far refrained from noting (m)any of these articles, mainly because the argument is becoming stale and the articles are so widespread.

Michael Massing‘s latest for The New York Review of Books is one worth your time, however: it’s a balanced, detailed view on the new landscape of reporting—that of a symbiosis between blogs, online media outlets, and traditional national and international newspapers. (It also serves as a good resource to some of the best blogs around.)

This, in response to David Simon (he of Baltimore Sun and The Wire fame) likening the Internet to a parasite “slowly killing the host”:

This image of the Internet as parasite has some foundation. Without the vital news-gathering performed by established institutions, many Web sites would sputter and die. In their sweep and scorn, however, such statements seem as outdated as they are defensive. Over the past few months alone, a remarkable amount of original, exciting, and creative (if also chaotic and maddening) material has appeared on the Internet. The practice of journalism, far from being leeched by the Web, is being reinvented there, with a variety of fascinating experiments in the gathering, presentation, and delivery of news.