The newsmagazine asserts that the blogosphere has helped readers find resources (academic papers cited in blogs are better consumed, for instance) and widened participation in discourse.
"Admittedly, for every lost prophet there is a crank who is simply lost. Yet despite the low barriers to entry, blogs do impose some intellectual standards. Errors of fact or logic are spotted, ridiculed and corrected. Areas of disagreement are highlighted and sometimes even narrowed. Some of the best contributors do not even have blogs of their own, serving instead as referees, leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s sites and often criss-crossing party lines," The Economist notes.
As for concerns about the civility of discussion, The Economist asks: When was it ever so?