Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blogs, Learning and the Minimum Wage

It always intrigues me to read print media pundits writing off blogs as shrill, derivative and poorly informed. It's true that a lot of blogs use articles from the print media as the basis for their posts (and so are, in a sense, derivative). But to me this seems to be a good thing; removing barriers to entry in the ongoing conversation that ought to be democracy and ensuring that large media outlets don't inevitably have the final word on that which matters.

As for being shrill and ill informed, this is very true - of some blogs (and New Zealand, alas, has more than its fair share of these). But, in the same way that the Sun is not the Financial Times, some does not mean all, and there are plenty of bogs out there which are incredibly well informed and also well mannered.

Crooked Timber is a case in point. To give but one example, this recent post on labour markets and the minimum wage by a guest blogger there is simply excellent. The author knows her stuff, as do most of the commenters. Which means that you'll read the post and learn more about the topic than you would in a year's worth of newspaper articles here; or a first year economics text book for that matter.

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