Great interview over at Pressthink with David Akin, a Canadian journalist. Here’s his take on blogs:

I write; I publish. And that used to be the end of it. Now, I write, I publish and a community of people who have special knowledge or who are deeply interested in the topic amplify, correct, modify, or extend the reportage. For a beat reporter, this is fabulous, because I now have more knowledge about my beat.

All journalists must adopt this philosophy. Blogs are not your enemy; they are your ombudsmen. They keep you honest and fair.

Akin surmises my earlier post about the beauty of links.

That’s because the blogs that are challenging mainstream thinking are blogs full of links. Someone had to create those things to link to. (Oddly, most often, they are links back to mainstream media.) The best blogs link to primary documents and primary sources. But most bloggers (and many journalists, for that matter) have trouble distinguishing primary sources from secondary sources.

He’s right that many bloggers often link to mainstream media. But many also do their own reporting. The link might go back to the actual transcript of an interview or press conference to show how the reporter took a quote out of context or misrepresented what was said. The industrious blogger may also link to the valid work of other bloggers. Soon reporters and editors may have to stomach the fact that bloggers are journalists as well.