Occasionally there are blog chain letters that you are supposed to forward on the question of why you write a blog. I’ve not received one of these but a more interesting question is why one might read blogs.
Here’s my answer.
First, I only read political blogs. No personal or technological blogs (like boing-boing or slashdot). I don’t need more gadgets. Gadget-tech blogs are pretty popular but are outrun by political blogs. The reason I read these blogs has become quite apparent in the last few days:
Bill Moyers’ show on journalism revealed that pretty much journalists were complicit in letting Bush get away with a war on false pretenses;
A White House correspondent taking exception to this criticism and thinking they’re actually doing ok;
David Broder (senior political correspondent in DC, writes for WaPo) attacked Senator Reid as incompetent (resulting in the entire Democratic caucus writing a letter to WaPo which they printed today);
Glenn Greenwald’s relentless and exercised postings about the abrogation of journalistic responsibility;
For good measure I will mention a talk recently by Robert Fisk of the UK’s Independent, who when asked by an audience member to comment on the state of American journalism gave an extremely negative assessment.
So there’s your answer: currently (American) journalism just isn’t doing its job (with a few–very few–notable exceptions). For serious, independent news reporting then there is only one choice.