Today was a relatively slow news day. So it seems to be an interesting time to look at what the blogs did. In particular, the question is whether they generated their own news or if they picked up on and went with what traditional media news they could find.
Liberal Web site DailyKos generated a good deal of content, including a Q & A with author Steven Johnson, personal opinions, information aggregation, calls to action, commentary on mainstream news and snark. They also have several daily open threads. These are collections of links to various bits of news, either from mainstream sites or other blogs. They are posted in an effort to get comments going, creating a discussion among the site’s readers.
While this is certainly useful for people who want one-stop shopping on information they find particularly interesting, there is nothing in the way of original reporting. In fact, if you go to several of the blogs that are linked to in the open thread, they are just posting and commenting on news from other mainstream sources. In a way, it seems that they are simply giving readers a way to get the information without giving the reporting institution pageviews.
But this is not meant to in any way single out the DailyKos. I use this blog because of its strong, dedicated following that helped make it into the blogosphere leader that it is today. There is a reason that it gets the attention it does, and I believe that the reason is that they are so good at updating constantly with information they know their readers want. But so far in our brief study, none of that is original reporting.