Before funking off out of office, Tony Blair decided to have a go at the press - referring to them, Plato stylee, as a "feral beast". The gist of his rant is that mainstream news outlets are becoming increasingly commentary - as opposed to news - based, as a result of the fierce competition they face with the growing popularity of blogs. Blair's concern lay with how hard it was making life for him and other politicians - it can be pretty inconvenient when you're trying to cover up the fact that your government took bribes willy nilly, what with all that cash for honours business.
However, certain mofos are more worried about the whole affair for better reasons - the idea of having no reliable news source - that we are losing the facts and are being served only opinion. Certainly it's true that most mainstream news outlets are losing their validity in an attempt to maintain reader numbers - but is this reason to be worried? Will the news become pure propaganda in order to survive?
The answer is no: news outlets have always been biased thanks to economic reasons - eg Rupert Murdoch wants papers that attract all members of society so that he can advertise to them (left thinkers, right thinkers, centrists, the middle aged, teenagers) so he ensures he owns a newspaper/media outlet for each target market. All newspapers which contain adverts sell you as their product - not news - and they sell you to those who wish to advertise. The real product on sale is an audience with your stimulated brain. This means that news and accurate reporting is merely a secondary priority - maintaining a regular audience of people belonging to a certain school of thought is the real priority, and so the paper will purposely twist current events to appeal to these people, and twist events in a way that harm their advertisers as little as possible.
As these sources are already biased, by making them recognisably propaganda, bloggers are actually improving the situation. Considering that one news outlet - the BBC - will always remain, and take efforts to remain , relatively unbiased, due to the fact that their revenue comes not from advertising, but near compulsory TV licenses that the majority of the UK pay for, we are not losing our source of 'pure' news, but shining a torch on it.
As all the other news providers battle for sales, the BBC will remain as it is - and be noticeably more trustworthy to the general population.
I have no illusions as to the natural biases held by the BBC - the ones based purely on a reporter or establishment's sense of right and wrong and other vested interests (eg any story the BBC run around their funding) - but these biases are present in all news reporting, there is no way to avoid it. What makes the BBC preferable is that it is not a slave to advertising agencies. The biases the BBC do hold are nothing in comparison to what other news corporations hold and will hold.
Although we may now watch the old media turn into a propaganda machine, we should not stop blogging to avoid this: as long as the BBC remains impartial, we are purifying the world's news.