February 15, 2002

Blogging and Journalism
I've read a lot recently on comparisons between blogging and journalism. I never made the connection until I read Doc's blog today.

What's wrong with Journalism today? As Deborah Branscum, a contributing editor to Newsweek and a contributor to Fortune.com's Valley Talk column, alludes to in her blog, journalism has become "the space between the advertisements, which pay for the entire operation." She continues describing how journalists only know what they're told, which is often one company's spin on how they want to position themselves ... and in worse case scenarios flat out lies to cover up scandal (i.e. Enron).

Blogging on the other hand, like Doc points out, allows individuals to tell stories as they see it. Not as what they're told to say. Because blogging is so personal, not influenced by ad revenue (or any outside revenue/pressure for that matter), but projects one's true passions and visions, more truth is seen in in blogging. And truth is the ultimate goal of journalism. Doc even goes further and says the conversation--the give and take of blogging--produces more authentic truths:

We're all sources for each other here, and don't have the pressures of space, deadlines or formats to restrict who we source or the stories they tell. Here we can vet ideas about what might be true, in faith that others who know more will correct us, or pick up the story and carry it forward.

Blogs are thickly woven into the web of what we know, what we want to know more about and how we inform each other. That makes them vastly different from the information distribution system that constitutes Journalism as Usual.

On the Web, we are not distributors of Information. What we give and gain is not a commodity. It's what we know. And when we share what we know, we get improved knowledge and far more well-qualified opinions.

Journalists blogs will become a great source of information. My question for the audience is (all one of you), does the public in general realize and care about the pressures from ad revenue and limited sources? Will they become tuned in to blogging? Or will it seem to the Bud Light drinking, Friends watching, NASCAR loving typical American like some weird internet thing for techie geeks? How and how quickly can the masses become engaged with blogging as a source of information?

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