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Why Does the NYT need a BLOG?

Let's see if I'm missing something...

NYT has a Baghdad bureau that is supposed to be collecting stories, sending in items to the paper for publishing, whether it's for the print or electronic editions.  So, recently they decided to start up a blog.  Now, here is where I get confused-

I thought blogs (at least, in todays terms) were needed because 'traditional' news sources were  incomplete.  So why would a news 'source' (and I use that term loosely) need a blog?  Why not just add more stories into the mix?  Especially in the electronic edition.  I can see a limit on the printed version- heck, paper is expensive- but, with the near-limitless electronic/web-based version, why not just incorporate it into the 'news'?

What gives me great pause with their new 'blog' (for now, I'm not going to consider it a true blog) is that they won't post a comment unless its 'approved' and completely moderated.  That is, they won't post it until they've censored it...  And, if our USAF brothers are blocking blogs, are they blocking this one?

Here is what I've been putting out there, but they've not allowed it to be put up:

For those seeking the true ground conditions, head over to www dot blackfive dot net.  We've been publishing pieces like this one for years- we've put people in the same places as NYT.  And we all have experience in 'seeing the white elephant'.  While these pieces by the NYT have been good (so far) the MSM cannot be trusted, in total, to bring you 'ground truth'.

If they told the real truth, why would they need a blog?

Mr. Wolf
Iraq- 2003 to 2005

So, again, why do they need a blog?  True, most of the MSM have blog sections on their sites- they cover anything from technology to food to travel, and more.  But, the GWOT is not some 'lifestyle' section, nor is it some avocation looking for kindred spirits who like to read about it.

It's real life.  It's relevant.  And it's 'news'.  So why should the NYT BLOG it?

From the sections I've read so far, the pieces posted have been decent, if not good, overall.  Actually, I'd go so far as to say far, far better than they NORMAL coverage they've had of late.  The comments sections have even been a bit more supportive and less 'blather' than I would have expected.  There are the usual 'blame all the rich white guys' and 'it's all Rove's fault' nuttiness, but the articles themselves have been decent.  I recommend one of the latest postings for the videos there.

Another concern is the 'Shared Items from Other Blogs' link- its not what it seems.  I scanned thru about 6 pages of 'shared blogs' and its the same vitriol again and again- same 'sources', and very very few are truly other blogs- stories from WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo, etc- but only one or two blogs.  While I don't really expect them to be linking to MM or VC, I would expect them to at least be reading Michael Totten, Bill Roggio or Michael Yon at some point.  Or at least following others as the blog from Iraq such as Megan and Pete are doing from Freedom's Watch.  Good or bad, agree or disagree, that's what I'd expect of a 'true blog'.  And their Blogroll link is down (as of this posting).  I don't think Matty-O is losing sleep over getting linked on the NYT blogroll, but the exclusions are as telling as the inclusions.

The NYT piece isn't a true 'blog'.  Not in any way, shape, or form.  Put it on a separate URL/domain, let it run independently of the paper, THEN it's a blog.  Check it out- tell us what you think.