Bill Hobbs has a good piece on blogs becoming journalism rather than merely reforming journalism, and he makes some good points.
Now I believe that blogs will increasingly become journalism. Right now, most news-oriented blogs are punditry rather than reporting, though some of the better blogs do sometimes provide original reporting. I've done original reporting here, most often related to the state budget and tax debate over the last four years, digging out and reporting facts and data ahead of the mainstream media on many occasions. I suspect over time bloggers will increasingly add original reporting to their blogs to go with the large helping of punditry.What's the big difference between punditry and reporting? Reporting on anything other than your own everyday activities takes time above and beyond what is required to merely type the first thousand words to pop into your head. Therefore, reporting takes money.
Before blogs can become journalism, someone is going to need to develop a profitable business model. Maybe Andrew Sullivan has done so, but I suspect people who want to read news are going to want to read a site with the quantity and diversity of information that can be found in major newspapers, and not simply what can be assembled by a single person, no matter how talented. Perhaps the Tech Central Station format paradigm offers more, but I don't think they have enough money to put reporters in the field, and they publish mostly punditry anyway.
So, while yes, I do agree that blogs have a great deal of potential, they face many of the same difficulties that all internet concepts face: how do you get the money to take the idea to the next level?
Check out the comments section of Bill's post to see his idea for a business model.