Monday, December 05, 2005

"We're just trying to look cool." -- Howie Kurtz

Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz did a live online Q&A today. A lot of people asked him about Katie Couric, former cheerleader and possible heir to the throne of Dan Rather. A lesser number asked questions about blogs. Here's what he said about the latter:

Raleigh, N.C.: What do you think of the efforts to regulate blogs? Should they be forced to disclose payments from campaigns? Should they be regulated further?

Howard Kurtz: I think as a matter of fairness and ethics that blogs should disclose payments from campaigns. And obviously campaaigns are required to disclose their expenditures in FEC reports. But I'm not sure heavy government regulation of individuals posting their opinions online is a great idea.

Toronto, Ontario: My question goes back to last week when Congressman Murtha blogged on the Huffington Post. Only a year ago I would have expected his comment to come in an editorial in The Post or the NYT. Is this an indicator of the credibility that the blogs are gaining? Do you think we will see more "mainstream" figures using blogs as means to address the nation?

Howard Kurtz: Sure, why not? It's quick, it gets widely picked up, and you don't have to wait a couple of days for some op-ed editor to decide whether you're worthy of publication.

Gainesville, Fla.: Hi Howard, I think it is interesting that so many MSM journalists are blogging or planning to blog regularly. Are the popular blog sites cutting into their readership? I love The Washington Post and NY Times but I am now loving these blog sites too. I feel they really are making a contribution to our political education. And the outrageous allegations and headlines sometimes provide lots of laughs!

Howard Kurtz: Actually, we're just trying to look cool.

[washington post]

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