Jay Rosen: The journalism that bloggers actually do, A New York University professor critiques Michael Skube's recent Times Op-Ed questioning the journalistic value of blogs.
Among other reasons why Blogs are not to be dismissed, Rosen lists some examples of stories made newsworthy by the Blogosphere:
March, 2007. Firedoglake at the Libby Trial. Popular lefty political blog provides the only blow-by-blow coverage of the trial by splitting the work among six contributors who bring big knowledge to bear for a committed-to-the-case readership. Reporters come to rely on the blog for its updates and its accuracy in live-blogging and analysis.
2007 to present. Blogger Michael Yon reports from Iraq. Supported primarily by donations from readers, independent journalist Michael Yon -- a former Green Beret -- is spending 2007 embedded with soldiers whose courage and sacrifice he admires, and whose stories he tells, mostly recently from Anbar province.
December 2006-April 2007. Talking Points Memo drives the U.S. Attorneys firings into the national spotlight. Mixing old-fashioned legwork with perseverance and lots of help from readers over several months, Josh Marshall and his TPM Media empire accumulate evidence "from around the country on who the axed prosecutors were, and why politics might be behind the firings."
August, 2006. Porkbusters, the Sunlight Foundation and TPM Muckraker expose congressional earmarks and the senator who placed a secret hold on a bill to put information about federal fund recipients online.
And there are many more. I've written on this topic as well here.