The Washington Times - September 25, 2008, 04:22PM

A panel of bloggers discussed the Internet and politics Wednesday night at George Washington University.

They came from various backgrounds, such as WashingtonPost.com, Blogher.com, the National Review Online and Pajamas Media, to name a few. One of the most interesting people at the event was Jim McTague, Washington editor of Barron’s Wire Service. He told everyone at the beginning he thought blogs were “a waste of time.” He said they were based too much on “junk” and not focused on writing the news.

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The first half consisted of a debate over whether blogs were newsworthy. McTague said the blogging process was too raw and needed to be refined before going online. Although others argued they are corrected by online users, McTague had a point that we should look out for inaccuracies in blogging and check sources. This doesn’t mean we can’t find other angles. After all, “citizen journalists” have carried some credibility over the past few months. If it wasn’t for a citizen journalist, we would not have Sen. Barack Obama’s infamous “bitter” quote.

Akers interviewed the comedian Sinbad after first hearing Clinton talk about a “threat.” Sinbad was with Clinton at the time and said there was no actual threat against anyone. Professional bloggers have an advantage because they can find primary source material since many are with professional news services.

They said bloggers can essentially help decide who gets elected to office. Hemingway said there were things that could have worked against George H.W. Bush when he ran as the vice presidential candidate with Ronald Reagan. Before joining the Reagan administration, Bush was pro-choice and turned pro-life after joining with Reagan.

It’s interesting to see how many different ways there are to gather news about politics. Although blogs have their flaws, I think they, along with YouTube and Twitter, will set the standard for what goes into the media and can get younger generations more excited about the political process.

— Christopher Shaver