An active blogosphere
Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most exciting and controversial applications of technology that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the possibility for a blog to be updated instantaneously, so that the news on blogs tends to be more current than news in a paper or on television.
Unlike news delivered by the other media outlets, news stories that appear on blogs do not have to travel through a series of editors and administrators before it reaches the public eye; and this is one of its big advantages, among many others; but of course there are distinct disadvantages associated with this form of news dissemination also.
Case in point
One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in July 2005 when terrorism struck London. As passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one man took several photographs of the scene with his cellular phone, and within an hour these images were posted online.
First-person accounts of the catastrophe began appearing on blogs soon after these photos appeared, and people all over the world learned about the events in London by reading the words and seeing photos posted by bloggers.
The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter helped people across the globe to get information about the crisis more immediate and direct.
Weblog movement seen as democratic
We must view blogging as news that often appears in a very personal context which has the potential to augment the modern era of reporting in a very exciting way, and take “New Journalism” to it’s logical next step; a step which puts the power of shaping how news is written and read directly into the hands of consumers.
Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the weblog movement view this growing trend of individuals getting their news from blogs as a good thing, because it makes the flow of information more democratic. By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events.
One glaring deficiency
However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets; and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate as well. Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact-checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many individual blogs.
This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation and, as such, more than one falsehood has taken the blogosphere by storm. This raises the questions as to whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or not; and it is a very complicated one, but no matter where you stand on the issue of current events blogs, you’ll like to agree that this movement has the potential to revolutionize how modern people get their news.