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Bloggers unite for aggregation site

Group including mainstream journalists bands together to strike blow at big media and pick up some ad dollars in the process.

A group of bloggers including mainstream journalists from outlets such as CNBC, The Nation and The New York Times are banding together to strike a blow at established media and pick up some ad dollars in the process.
Roger Simon
Roger Simon

Operating initially as Pajamas Media--a play on criticism that bloggers are "just a bunch of guys in their pajamas"--the site will offer original content and links to affiliate sites written by more than 70 bloggers, as well as basic news feeds from sources like The Associated Press, said novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon, one of the founders.

Contributors include: CNBC's Larry Kudlow; U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone; Nation columnist David Corn; Glenn Reynolds of fame; New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor John Podhoretz; Adam Bellow, Random House editor and son of Nobel Prize-winner Saul Bellow; Clifford D. May, ex-New York Times editor and current president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank; Jane Hall, panelist of Fox News Watch; and co-founder Charles Johnson, author of the Little Green Footballs blog.

Charles Johnson
Charles Johnson

Though the roster, which included Reynolds and Fox News, may at first glance seem weighted toward the conservative side, Simon insisted it would encompass viewpoints from across the political spectrum.

"We believe that the power of the blogosphere can transcend the old-fashioned traditional left-right dichotomy in its search for truth," he said.

Regardless, the site could be seen as competing with the Liberal Blog Advertising Network. That site allows advertisers to place ads on more than 70 "liberal and progressive blogs."

Attracting advertising is just one of the goals, Simon said.

"Our purpose is to garner advertising income by aggregation," he said, "but more importantly, to leverage blogs and raise their credibility higher than they are now." Unlike professional journalists, bloggers don't have to follow standard newsroom rules governing sources and bias.

Pajamas Media will have editors in different international cities, including Sydney and Barcelona, who can constantly update the site, Simon said. The site will officially launch Nov. 16.

The scope of writers participating and the ability for readers to offer feedback is what will give it a competitive advantage over established online news sites, Johnson said.

"In some senses we will compete with mainstream media. News will be generated through blogs because we have bloggers in every corner of the planet," Johnson said. "We'll have the fan base of a rock and roll band...(that can) give instant feedback on stories that you post. That's a valuable part of it, the community aspect."