Credibility , Caveat Emptor, and the Blogosphere

The whole Rathergate scandal with the forged documents regarding Bush’s National Guard service reminds me of how similar the free flow of information is to free markets. In the old media, information and subsequent analysis of information flowed through only a handful of sources.

The advent of the blogosphere has now given rise to countless challengers to the old media. While the old media has time, experience, and position in its favor, the only thing that keeps the blogosphere from becoming a quixotic failure is its veracity. If a blog offers forth falsehood, it has little else going for it—the percieved stability of the old media doesn’t help a bad blogger.

There is always the danger, of which the blogosphere must be vigilant, that the new media might be used as a pawn by the power brokers of the day. Certain false information might be leaked to several blogs just as easily as forged documents are leaked to Dan Rather. Hence bloggers must be careful not to rely on their position as the new media.

The good thing, however, is that now all media, new and old, are falling prey to the doctine of caveat emptor. Formerly, the power and position of the old media went unchecked. After Rathergate, the old media must now answer to the checks and balances of the new.

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