Ed Driscoll has written an excellent historical narrative of how weblogs (blogs) arose as a counterweight to the stranglehold that traditional (and mostly liberal) media have long held on news reporting. He notes the irony of how the old media has responded to the new media:
Soon, there was a blog for every interest, bias, and worldview. But this development put the old media in something of a bind. On the one hand, the left had been preaching endlessly about the need for “diversity.” Well, here it was; but just as they had assaulted Matt Drudge a few years earlier, the mainstream media now attacked these upstart bloggers with a vengeance. As journalists became increasingly scared of the new upstarts, epithets about “navel gazers” and “amateur hour” began to pour out of newspaper op-ed columns. And though reporters claimed to be for the little guy, once that little guy started to talk back to them, they became more defensively elitist and guild-oriented than ever.
The internet has definitely leveled the playing field. It remains to be seen how this development will affect the direction of our national culture.