Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


t's a paradox, but in these days of instant communication and 24-hour news channels, it's actually become easier to miss information that we might have paid attention to in less frenetic times. That's why we need stories to be covered and re-covered ad nauseum - eventually, repetition gets the story in our cultural bloodstream. As such, blogs have become a vital news source in our country.

When bloggers decide that something matters, they chomp down hard and refuse to let go. They're the true pit bulls of reporting. The only way to get them off a story is to cut off their heads (and even then you'll need to pry their jaws open). They often work alone, but, ironically, it's their collective effort that makes them so effective. They share their work freely, feed off one another's efforts, argue with each other, and add to the story dialectically.

Because blogs are ongoing and often refreshed by the hour (if not the minute), bloggers will often start with a small story, or a piece of one - a contradictory quote, an unearthed document, a detail that doesn't add up - that the big outlets would deem too minor to bother with. But it's only minor until, well, it's not. Big media can't see the forest for the trees. Until it's assembled for them by the bloggers.

The vast majority of mainstream journalists head in the direction the assignment desk points them. This often means just following a candidate around, or sitting in the White House press room, and then rehashing the day's schedule for their readers or viewers. Bloggers are armed with a far more effective piece of access than a White House press credential: passion. It's one of the reasons why you don't just read blogs - you experience them.

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