In comments to this post, John Kelly of Florida Today writes:
As for Ken’s contention that “blogs” are where facts go in and better facts come out, well, we like to start at the highest possible level of accuracy. We understand that we never have the whoe story when we publish and that the story can change when additional facts to come to life. This can lead to an admittedly more cautious approach to publishing than you see in “blogs,” where the assumption that the material is opinion protects the author against inaccuracies or even unwarranted criticism or allegations. It can always be protected as opinion and free speech. If we do that too often in our newspaper or on Internet sites owned and operated by our newspaper, we run the risk of losing credibility. I’m not saying this is the case with yours or any other specific blog, butI think in general there is as much a credibility problem with blogs as in mainstream journalism. Wouldn’t you agree?
That’s far too broad a statement to agree or disagree with. It’s like saying, “there is as much a credibility problem with people as there is with mainstream journalism.”
Some blogs have credibility problems. Some news outlets have credibility problems. In most cases, the respective bloggers and the news outlets brought said problems on themselves.
But the credibility problems rarely come merely from posting something early and mistaken, and then correcting it as new facts come to light. They come from publishing something wrong (sometimes with an obvious agenda), and then stonewalling about it (as CBS did for days, and really even to date), or denying obvious bias in their reporting or blogging. Once one gives up the pretense of “objective journalism,” and shows a willingness to quickly correct the record as prominently as it was originally reported (something that the MSM seems for some reason loathe to do, preferring instead to bury corrections to front-page stories deep in the food section), much or all can be forgiven.