Culture

Making the press free indeed

Culture

Issue: "Year in Review 2004," Jan. 1, 2005

When "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing" beat the pressed suits of CBS, American news media jumped into the 21st century and bloggers gained new clout. The big news networks' long dominion ended this year when Dan Rather and CBS foolishly accepted forged documents ostensibly pertaining to President Bush's National Guard service. Caught in the act and forced out of the anchor chair, Mr. Rather, and others, insisted that mainstream media methods are better than the "open source journalism" of the bloggers who proved the documents a fraud. "You can have information anarchy," complained James O'Shea, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, of the new phenomenon. But one man's information anarchy is another man's press democracy.

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