The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

Blogs vs Media

Digital media has caused much debate throughout the world with blogs and news aggregation services driving much of the rancor.  Understandably existing forms of media have much disdain for the new form; established newspapers are quick to point out disinformation presented by blogs and trumpet fact checking abilities.  The dismissal of blogs as a source of real news is growing increasingly hard, and most newspapers now employ staffers as full time bloggers. 

The reaction by established media should come as no surprise; this has been the reaction of each form of media throughout media evolution.  When radio reporters first demanded a seat in Congress the established media, print, refused and Congress had to create a new section for the radio reporters. The radio folks did not learn from history as television ushered in a new means of journalism.  Again, a new press section for television reporters was created in Congress.  Now as online media is experiencing exponential growth the same debates are being faced, both in the halls of Congress and beyond.   

Blogs absolutely serve a purpose by opening the conversation of news and media to the masses, not just those with fancy degrees or government appointed access.  The Vietnam War is widely considered the first televised war, and the effects of this were far reaching.  The Iraq War has become the first digital war, with soldiers and journalists reporting from the front lines of battle.  As more and more soldiers blogged the Army eventually was forced to establish a position on blogs, shutting numerous soldier blogs down.  Blogs and digital media allow the voiceless a forum with the ability to reach millions, a powerful tool previous generations could not imagine.  Much like Revolutionary War pamphleteers bloggers post information for free to anyone who will read it. 

There are millions of blogs worldwide presenting a myriad of information, undoubtedly some false information exists.  The key however is that the information is available to anyone and the information can be presented by anyone, allowing the individual choice, removing that power from media conglomerates that previously had control.  The fears of established media correlate directly to profit margins; the threat of new media and blogging specifically cuts down readership, which cuts down advertising rates.  The altruistic suggestion that new media is concerned over the culpability of information published by blogs is bogus; the concern arises over the loss of readers. 

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