Anyone who enjoys reading vox pops with their predictable range of views can have a feast today looking at blogs, and comments in the mainstream media. By 8.30 this morning the BBC had 1,952 comments on the UK terror threat story.
The Guardian’s Comment is Free had a goodly number too. Cyberjournalist.net links to a “a nice round-up of citizen media efforts” at the Toronto Globe and Mail. In their Geekwatch, Mathew Ingram finds nothing “quite so dramatic” as what came out of last year’s London Underground bombings but says “there are bits and pieces trickling in from various corners of the blogosphere and social-media outlets”.
The links in Ingram’s piece provide a useful overview of what is being said but I was unable to find anything which really amounted to journalism. Most blogs are links to MSM sites. The media sites themselves have a lot of comments which are really the raw material for a traditional vox pop or a letters page.
But among the conflicting messages there is a lot of value to newspapers and broadcasters. There is a snapshot of the varying opinions and reactions among the population — feedback from readers and listeners on a huge scale. Being able to monitor, however unscientifically, changes in attitudes is a valuable guide.
Wikinews is interesting, with what amounts to a competent pull-together of agency and other reports. It is entirely based on secondary sources and devoid of original reporting. But it does demonstrate the the Wiki (collaborative writing) approach can produce good readable copy.
If your taste if for the nutty The American Conservative Daily is a good example.