NEW YORK—There have been plenty of commentators arguing that blogs will lead to the demise of "old" media organizations that publish newspapers, magazines and books. ABC News columnist Michael S. Malone predicted the end of newspapers last year when he saw "the first links embedded in blogs. There was simply nothing in the physical world that could ever hope to match the ability to leap through cyberspace from story to story, file to file, with almost infinite extension." Or as former editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com Merrill Brown put it: "The future of the news industry is seriously threatened by the seemingly irrevocable move by young people away from traditional sources of news."Yet despite the proliferation and popularity of blogs, the obliteration of mainstream media as we know it is just not happening. Rather than resembling a steamroller, blogs are looking like the cheese on the bread that is mainstream media; or if you prefer, the icing on the cake.As it now stands, the reason that so many blog links go to MSM is because, currently, the MSM is the dominant gatherers of news and content. No blogger can afford, individually, to, for example, imbed a journalist with the troops in the front lines of Iraq (or as most MSM outlets do, in the green zone). An except to this has been Steve Marshall of Guerrilla News who produced a Sundance award winning doc while doing this on his own tab.
This will change when there are more bloggers at the places where news occurs. News will be something that is reported in real time, by the participants and direct observers. And the main media for this will be blogs, in real time. And with the use of aggregators and spiders, a second after someone posts something interesting, the world will have it.
Then the MSM will become republishers. And they will die.