Just An Online Minute... The Ginger-Mary Ann Question: Blogs Vs. Mainstream Media?
But perhaps that's the wrong question.
Arianna Huffington, political pundit and online media entrepreneur, compares posing the query to asking people to choose between Ginger and Mary Ann. "I say, 'Let's have a three-way,'" Huffington told the audience this morning at MediaPost's OMMA Hollywood conference.
Huffington, founder of the nearly 2-year-old popular blog Huffington Post, added that newspapers and TV aren't going away anytime soon. On the contrary, she said, they complement each other; each one's weakness becomes the other's strength.
The mainstream media, she said, sometimes suffers from attention deficit disorder -- flooding the zone on stories like the death of Anna Nicole Smith, only to drop them after several weeks. On the other hand, Huffington proposed, the blogosphere tends toward obsessive-compulsive behavior, picking over the tiniest details until a larger story emerges, as happened recently when Joshua Michael Marshall of Talking Points Memo recently began piecing together the details surrounding the firings of U.S. attorneys.
Huffington Post itself, while in some ways a symbol of the digital media revolution, also relies on older tools. Consider, not all of the company's 800 unpaid bloggers transmit their columns via computer. The late Arthur Schlesinger, for instance, used to fax over printed versions of his copy, while Larry David phones his blog posts in from the set of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."