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All The News Thats Fit to Blog

November 30, 2007

Ashley Murphy
Professor Walker
COMM 275
Blog Paper

All The News That’s Fit to Blog

Dissident media has evolved and greatly expanded with a great amount of help that can be accredited to the internet. Matt Welch writes in his article, “Blogworld and It’s Gravity: The New Amateur Journalists Weigh In,” that, “blogging technology has. . . given the average Jane the ability to write, edit, design, and publish her own editorial product,” (Welsh 22). Blogging and the internet has greatly improved the ability to express one’s opinion regarding virtually anything, however, it has also has stirred controversy over what is considered journalism and what is dissident.

The purpose of dissident media is to provide a different view on a topic. Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines dissident as, “disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief,” (Merriam-Webster Online). Dissident media was formed with the focus of showing stories in a different light than main-stream media as well as covering topics that main-stream media either does not cover or does not cover to its fullest. In the past, dissident media can be seen as pamphlets, radio broadcasts, and newspapers such as The Revolution (Steitmatter). Today the presence of these medias is still alive, yet the internet has become a center for dissident media especially blogs.

Blogs not only became a place for people to vent regarding an issue, blogs are now places that people write news stories and many are looked at in a professional light. Blogs have allowed citizen journalists to flourish and give internet users an option besides main-stream media news. The use of blogs on the internet allows readers to view and also write news on numerous stories that may not be found in main-stream publications and blogs also provide a sense of timeliness that newspapers cannot. As soon as news breaks, bloggers can write a news story and post it without the hassle of editors and having it printed in a paper. In many cases news blogs are a way for citizen journalists to “keep the media honest,” as Markos Moulitsas Zuniga says in an interview with Michael Skube (Skube). Skube writes that blogging implies “all the liberties of a traditional journalist but few of the obligations,” (Skube). The ability to voice an opinion to millions of people at a time without having to be a part of the New York Times or Washington Post is very powerful and blogs allow citizen journalists to do that.

However not all blogs can be looked at as serious forms of news and some blogs have discredited the name of those citizen journalists who do take blogging serious and use their blogs to provide the public with hard hitting serious new stories. Skube writes in his article, “Blogs: All the noise that fits” that, “bloggers now are everywhere among us, and no one asks if we don’t need more full-throated advocacy on the Internet. The blogosphere is the loudest corner of the Internet, noisy with disputation, manifesto-like posting and an unbecoming hatred of enemies real and imagined,” (Skube). For those embracing the crusade of making blogging a notable form of journalism, it is a bumpy road. The internet allows anyone to start their own blog, an emphasis on anyone, and some blogs hinder the cause of making blogging a serious form of journalism.

In the world of activism, blogs provide a source of constant communication regarding progression and news. They can also form a sort of pseudo community that allows people to participate without being close in actual proximity. Activist blogs can update participants with rallies, protests, and news regarding their cause. Yet if the issue is not seeing any progression or if no news is occurring regarding the issue it may be hard to post on a blog as a form of activism.

Although dissident media is a form of media that goes against the norms and is supposed to disagree with a larger system, it has become very main-stream. Blogs are no longer a form of media that is seen as out of the normal. They have been accepted and integrated into society and into the lives of news viewers. The aspect about blogs that still remains dissident is the ability to have a blog about anything the creator wants. Blogs as a whole are not a form of dissident media rather a blog dedicated to a specific topic may be seen as dissident.

Works Cited

“Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster Online. 28 Nov. 2001
Skube, Michael. “Blogs: All the Noise That Fits.” Los Anges Times 19 Aug. 2007. 23 Aug. 2007
Streitmatter, Rodger. Voices of Revolution. New York City: Columbia UP, 2001.
Welch, Matt. “Blogworld and It’s Gravity: The New Amateur Journalists Weigh In.” Columbia
Jounalism Review 42 (2003): 20-26.

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