Juan Cole helpfully articulates the reasons bloggers are vitally important in this age of "consolidation":
"If we were the mainstream media, we would be accountable to CEOs and editors and advertisers, all of whom have motives for suppressing some pieces of news and highlighting others. You might think to yourself that this is a diverse enough group that the story would still get through. But with media consolidation, fewer and fewer persons make the decisions."
Media owned by Rupert Murdoch or newspapers published by Fairfax have both hidden and acknowledged agendas. So do many bloggers. But self-censorship is the only thing stopping bloggers highlighting a story or putting forward an opinion.
"We are not the mainstream media, and we are here. Get used to it." Cole tells it like it is. Besides, are we going to simply rely on the Sydney Morning Herald or New York Times for information?