November 1, 2006 — At his Shorenstein Center brown-bag lunch, journalist Mickey Kaus chose to speak about the impact of the “blogosphere” on American politics.
Kaus maintained that due to the rapid pace of political blogging, today, pieces of political news “rise faster and die faster” in the consciousness of voters. He referenced, as an example, Senator John Kerry’s recent remarks, which some felt disparaged soldiers in Iraq, saying, “I don’t think Kerry’s remarks — if there weren’t a blogosphere — would be that big a deal.” He added that the Kerry story will likely be “old news” by November 7, replaced on political blogs by any number of other stories.
When asked about the impact of the blogosphere on the traditional news media, Kaus said that blogs can effectively take over most of the functions served by a newspaper, but will “leave investigative journalism high and dry,” because investigative journalism is time consuming and expensive, and would thus be difficult for the web to support.
Kaus speculated that in the future, investigative journalists will fund their work by publishing books or by applying for support from universities.