After a quarter-century as a military correspondent, David Wood knew the drill as he reported from Afghanistan last week, in helmet and flak jacket, on the intricacies of the U.S. war effort.
But this time he was writing for a fledgling Web site, one that — unlike the thousands that specialize in commentary, snark or recycling other people’s reporting — is willing to pony up to send an old-school journalist on a six-week foreign assignment. Wood was picked up by AOL’s Politics Daily in May, shortly after the Baltimore Sun laid him off.
Yeah, it’s not like a blog-centric new media venture would pay to send a reporter to Afghanistan for several weeks to produce original reporting. And it’s sure not like a blog like Danger Room has two reporters in Afghanistan or on their way there right now.
I like David Wood’s reporting. Politics Daily is doing a media mitzvah for sending him to Afghanistan. Anything that supports thorough, diligent reporting about crucial issues during this era of crisis gets a gold star. But please, let’s not pretend like Politics Daily is doing something so thoroughly different than what these upstart bloggers have been accomplishing, or what the organizations that support them have been bankrolling. We’re not the problem, we’re part of the solution.