Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why do we blog?

I'd be interested in hearing from both my writers and everyone else reading our humble blog. Why do we blog? What effects will blogs have on the coming presidential election? How do we assess the validity of a blog verses the validity of a letter to the editor?

What makes blogging appealing?

These questions surround the very essence of blogging. Blogging is the fastest growing media form according to a recent report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Does this mean newspapers will vanish? magazines?

If you have an opinion on the art of blogging and it's impact on mass media, I'd love to hear it.


Nisha said...

Nick, I think you should change the date and move this post up - no one can see it since it's hidden under all the new posts.

But to answer your question, I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. I love that it allows everyone with an opinion to voice it, regardless of whether you're a published journalist or not. I hate, however, that it makes everyone's life public. We've all heard the stories about people being fired from their job because of their blog.

Certainly, not all blogs are valid sources, although many have become valid by using credible sources and sound arguements in their posts. However, I don't think newspapers will vanish. I love reading political blogs because they are great for finding opinions and analysis - but I still stick the the New York Times for straight news, and I don't think that will ever change for most people.

IanDerk said...

I would agree with nisha on reading blogs. Honestly, I read very few blogs because I don't have the Internet at my house. A simple reason but it leads to my main point; blogs are not likely to have a grand impact and are unlikely to replace most news organizations.

nisha is right about finding straight news. The NYT (I like the Washington Post more but that's a different issue) has an organization and a brand name few blogs have. The NYT is a trusted name and people know the story will get spread. They also have contacts, branches, sources, and funding to go differnet places. Bloggers could build a similar network through the Internet but may find themselves talking only with other Internet users. Other organizations have that government access, which gives them the chance to do all those hard things (ask Tony Snow a question or go to Iraq) that your average blogger would be unable or unwilling to take the time.

I think you can compare large newspapers/blogs with large donor/small donor distinction. Granted, lots of people making small posts or donations could change policy but they only work well as a group. A large donor or major newspaper can have a greater impact on the campaign because their endorsement or support are worth more. This imbalance may not last forever but it's likely to stick around for awhile.