Blog Balancing… or Journos Beaten by the Blog?

I attended (the majority) of a panel discussion on Blogging at the Press Club yesterday evening. As a blogger, and also a writer for a publication, I’m always interested to see how how bloggers are portrayed, or what purpose journalists feel blogging will/should have in the future of news.

More and more often, I’m hearing the mainstream news media argue that blogs are not valid news sources. They may give them the minor credit of being news summaries or news aggregates with a strong slant on opinion. True, they contain bias – but I don’t know of many who would claim the major channels or newspapers weren’t also politically (or idealogically) divided.

The main issues, as I see it, is less about whether blogs are ethical and valid means of distributing news. Rather, the issue is how blogs are changing the way we see news and how we want it reported. Perhaps individuals don’t want news to be fair and balanced. Maybe (and I’ll bet this is true!) they seek out sources of information that share their point of view and which make them feel comfortable with their opinions. Blogging is about creating a personality – sometimes a short, cheeky snapshot of a personality – but certainly branding the writer and the blog as a package entity. These brands may be more exciting, or even seem more personal and trustworthy, than an impersonal newsprint or a stoic reporter. Even so, I think all news mediums have a particular place of importance today.

With the increasing number of blogs started every day, and the strong desire of people to share and their own voices, blogging will not die down. It will only give way to the newest method of sharing information in real time. Just as newspaper writers had to alter their styles with the invention of the television news broadcast, so will some alteration of the rules have to occur with these new developments.

So many choices, so much news (and somehow you find MINE!) What is news, unless it is NEW?? Embrace the blogs – and enjoy!

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