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Yahoo vs. The New York Times?

By hiring independent TV journalist Kevin Sites to cover wars and other "hot spots," Yahoo is clealy positioning itself to compete against mainstream media outlets in providing coverage of international events. The question is, how competitive can Yahoo truly be against the likes of the New York Times or Washington Post for this sort of news?

In other words, will readers find it as credible and trustworthy as mainstream media coverage in this arena?

I could be wrong about this -- God knows it won't be the first time -- but I suspect that for at least the near future, first-hand reportage of wars and other critical issues by Web media organizations such as Yahoo will be more of a complement to, not a substitute for, the coverage of the established press. With all the loss of respect the MSM has suffered in recent years, it still commands more reader trust, overall, then does new upstart media (including blogs). It also has the power of incumbency and far greater resources than upstart media like Yahoo.

Still, I have to say how pleased I am that an intrepid reporter such as Sites was able to secure Yahoo's backing and support. And truth be told, I have to admit that I'm rather envious. When I was humping mountains covering wars and revolutions, we didn't have digital video and satellite uplinks or satellite phones. The first time I crossed the mountains into Afghanistan, in fact, I had a notebook, a still camera, a Super8 camera with extra batteries provided by NBC -- and of course, the numbing realization that if anything happened to me, there was no way to call for help except to send a runner 3 days over the mountains and hope he got through.

Good luck to you, Kevin Sites. You've just become a bigger target, so keep your head down.


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Great new blog! Now I am going to have to update my blogroll.

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