Whenever I get interviewed about blogs I'm always asked whether I think blogs will replace the conventional media or whether they're in competition with it. The question always strikes me as ridiculous since most of what blogs do feeds off of newspaper coverage -- either criticizing coverage, expanding on coverage, running with stories that aren't getting much attention and so forth.
That's not to say blogs aren't important, only that they're in a synergistic or interdependent relationship with the conventional media. That means newspapers and even more the investigative journalism done by newspapers and magazines.
Along those lines, The Washington Monthly is doing a subscription/pledge/fundraising drive this week. As you know, the Monthly now hosts Kevin Drum's 'Political Animal' blog. So contributing will help support Kevin's blog, albeit perhaps indirectly.
(Disclosure: I'm a contributing writer for the Monthly.)
But the best reason to contribute and to subscribe to the Monthly is to support the sort of extremely labor- and expense-intensive reporting that the Monthly does best and on a monthly basis. The list of articles they've put out in the last couple years is just phenomenal -- on Bush's addiction to polling, on Bill Bennett's love of games of chance, on the Neocon plan for Iraq before the first shots were fired. The list goes on and on.
These are pieces that help us really understand what's going on in the country. They take hundreds of hours to put together. It's very hard for them ever to pay in commercial terms. And blogs will almost never fill that role. So stop by the Monthly website and hear their pitch.