There is I no question in my mind about the impact of weblogs on media coverage of the Iraqi war. Initially, I checked both traditional and blog sources for news, but today I found myself practically depending on weblogs to tell me where the interesting stuff was all the time. While there was a lot of duplication of coverage across blogs of the Iraqi invasion for obvious reasons, I will try to give an idea of the best sites and what interesting stuff they told me about.
To me the best site so far (opinion evolving fast!) is The Command Post a sort of United Blog International of roughly 50 bloggers where each one posts whatever they have found that is novel or interesting. Obviously, this yields very good coverage at amazingly high speeds. The idea is brilliant why go around checking many blogs at once, when collaborators can post independently whatever they want. And it works for minute to minute coverage exceedingly well. Congratulations to the creators Michele and Alan for their initiative as well as the other 50 or so bloggers for participating. From Command Post I learned today that CNN had disconnected reporter Kevin Sites from its free form blogging, perhaps feeling the heat or smelling possible conflicts of interest a la NYT and Francisco Toro. They also tipped me off at the following fantastic photo from the Washington Post, truly shock and awe:
They also have a few contributions about what may or not be propaganda of the happiness of Iraqi’s that Americans have finally arrived to get rid of Saddam. Perhaps the most shocking was that of the Americans that went to be part of the “human shield” in Iraq and now find themselves shocked by the welcome by the Iraqis of the American attack and how people are willing to give up their homes just to get rid of Saddam. These guys probably have no clue about it must be to live for decades under a dictatorship. This was also the first site that told me that a high Iraqi commander had surrendered. I had read the NYT only minutes earlier, but it was not highlighted sufficiently there to gain my attention. I also loved this picture posted at Command Post, with amazing shock and awe:
I guess I did not like Chuck’s post wondering once again about Salam my friendly blogger from Baghdad. I guess I have been following that site for so long, even before Iraq was a big story that I do believe him, more so after reading Diane’s take on it. I agree with Salam, if you don’t believe him just don’t read it. Moreover, Salam’s silence while the bombing has been strong confirms to me he is quite real. If he were fake, reporting right now frequently would be his crowning glory.
Command post also told me about CNN being kicked out of Baghdad in this post. I like people that keep a sense of humor amidst this real, but necessary tragedy. While I had been using Debka right before the war and it told me about the beginning of the action, I still have problems with the layout. As usual, Instapundit has been a great source of news, unfortunately Glenn’s responsibilities keep him away from continuous news which is what I was looking for, but you can’t beat him for picking the important points and at the French! A case in point was this report on a Saudi’s opinion about what is going on, or this report on when Blix saw the light somewhat late. Tried the Aljezira site, only to learn its all in Arabic. Back to Iraq has been less than I expected, while Warblogs has been too structured for my taste. I guess I like the comments on the news, not just the news. Daily Kos is good, but more for overall commentary rather than breaking news, which we also need.
All around a pretty impressive output for the first live test of bloggers under true pressure. Little shock at this, lots of awe and cheers to all them war bloggers for a job well done!