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Thursday, February 17, 2005

GRASSROOTS GOVERNMENT UPDATE: Bill Hobbs on "The Bloggy Future of Journalism" in Nashville, Tennessee

Speaking of people who "get it" on blogs and journalism, check out BillHobbs.com and his current posting on "The Bloggy Future of Journalism," which provides an interesting analysis of the new Nashvillezine.com collaborative blog on, you guessed it, the music scene. Hobbs points to the comparative cost advantages of a blog versus traditional hard-copy publications covering the same topics.

What really got me excited about Bill's post, however, is the link he makes between the Blogosphere's cost advantages over the MSM and the incredible capacity of the blogs to cover government as it has never before been covered:

"A few months ago I had a conversation with a friend in the media business about a possible business plan for HobbsOnline. (Memo to my boss - it was idle chatter!) We were discussing how a single blogger, armed with a notebook PC, wireless Internet access, a digital camera and a digital video camera, could provide much more thorough and complete coverage of the Tennessee state legislature and state government than any newspaper does.
"Nashville's daily papers, The Tennessean and the City Paper both cover the legislature, but neither provides complete coverage because neither can.
"They are limited by space, by deadlines, by editors and by cost. A statehouse reporter can file one, maybe two, stories per day - and that forces them to focus on just one or two issues. They don't cover every piece of legislation. They don't even cover every piece if important legislation. They cherry-pick."

Cherry-pick, indeed. But compare that reality of the MSM with this reality of the Blogosphere:

"A solo blogger journalist, on the other hand, could report live, via a blog, from the legislature from morning until night, and file a far wider range of stories and briefs. On the hot issues, a quick hallway interview of a key senator could be video recorded, edited on the PC and uploaded in less time than it would take the local TV crew to get back to the station."

Think about that, folks! No wonder panic is beginning to be felt in some quarters of the MSM as facts like these are realized. Not to put too dramatic a point on it but Hobbs is pointing to precisely the reason why Hugh Hewitt's Gutenberg/Reformation analogy is right: The MSMers are the monks of old toiling away in their cloistered monasteries copying Scripture by hand while bloggers are cranking out millions of copies of the Bible in all the languages of the world so that people everywhere can understand the Gospel.

Just like the Reformation was a revolution in the church, the media, government and every other part of Western society, so, too, is the Blogosphere bringing about a communications revolution that is bound to "change everything."