It might not be as sexy as an item about an MSM anchor exposing his liberal bias. But if there's one thing I'd encourage conservatives to read, consider and act on in the blogosphere today, it is the Patrick Ruffni column "Information Gaps on the Right" at Hugh Hewitt's blog.
Ruffini's fundamental point is the need for professionalized, conservative "feeder blogs," sites that "tee up" information for other blogs. Ruffini points to Think Progress as a model from the left of what this should be:
ThinkProgress provides a valuable service to the left by leveraging a full-time research staff to be the first to report and frame up news stories. Their content is rarely witty and original and isn’t meant to be. It’s just meant to provide context and a prod for others to cover these stories. The research backing also means they do the legwork to connect the dots in ways that bloggers rarely do. If John McCain says something today, they’re all about telling you what he said about the same thing in March, what he said in 2003, what he said in 1999, and so on.
Ruffini concludes by observing that if there was money out there to contribute $2+ million for the Rush-Reid letter:
[T]hen someone has a few million to spend on blogger-journalists to investigate Democratic corruption or on a sustained project to get out different storylines about Iraq or to set up an open-source research operation to more closely bracket the coverage. And it doesn’t have to be done through any existing institution, with all its offline encumbrances. The Politico, already at #4 on Memeorandum, shows the power of doing it as a startup.
Note that NewsBusters itself fulfills that feeder function in the area of liberal media bias. And speaking of Memeorandum, NB currently ranks #35 there, just behind the Times of London, and ahead of Time, Newsweek and, ahem, Daily Kos.
There's much more of importance that Ruffini has to say. I don't do this often, but I would urge NewsBusters readers to have a look, and get involved in this project. Bravo to Patrick Ruffini for having put it on the table in such compelling fashion.
Update 15:14 | Matthew Sheffield. Ruffini's point here is very well-taken and one I've been trying to get a lot of conservative groups to realize: the right is so far behind when it comes to original reporting and research online. Unfortunately, it's been a tough job trying to convince people of the great need we have on the right for focused, targeted blogs.