"The way forward is not to rely on these self-serving panels but to create an alternative media that can rehearse the issues that the establishment media prefers to ignore. That is what is happening successfully in the USA, where the Blogosphere is successfully taking on the networks."
Sucessfully taking on the networks? My arse. The political blogosphere consists of three sorts of site:
1) Informed commentary from existing experts, political hangers-on and journalists (rightie and leftie), which is influential but a complement rather than a challenge to the existing media. See Josh Marshall, Andrew Sullivan, Dan Drezdner, etc.
2) Crazy rants from fanatics (generally rightie; leftie fanatics seem to prefer messageboards), meant entirely for the consumption of other fanatics, although well-informed people looking for vicarious thrills also make up a significant proportion of readers. See LGF, Powerline, Michelle Malkin, B-BBC, etc.
3) Sites that nobody reads, apart from unlucky Google users and other people who write category 3 sites.
All are fun. However, the only ones which are important are written by the same people whose ideas would be noted in the media anyway. Blogging is an amusing way to pass the time; if you’re talented, ambitious to make it in the category 1 world, and lucky, then it might help you get there.
Otherwise, blogging is relevant only in countries where journalism is unfeasible, like Iran. To claim a US or UK blogger has anything significant to add to the story is ridiculous, self-aggrandising nonsense.
Update: I’ve found an even better quote: "Bloggers have poured water over legacy media and just like the wicked witch of the north from Oz, they are melting". Presumably the ‘they’ are legacy media not bloggers, although the quote has approximately equal validity either way.