Monday, March 07, 2005


Blog Journalism

Kristie Heim of the Seattle Times sent me a link to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press entitled the Internet and Campaign 2004 (pdf).

The study uncovered some things that were a fairly common perception, if not known fact: The Internet is a greater source of information on politics and elections. Duh!

My particular interest, blogs, didn't take up a prominent amount of space in that article. But it did provide some insights:

Again, nothing new.

But take this a step further. Many bloggers are crowing about their influence on the political landscape and election results. Some even claim to be the new journalists of the information age. But this study tells me that those bloggers that are trying to create journalist bona fides are largely disqualified. Because they're distributors, interpreters, and activists. From another angle, they (we?) may be this way because we patronize a particular group, unsupervised and uncontrolled by standards of behavior. One need not look far to find extreme examples. Talk radio, by the way, also has a parallel track.

200 years ago newspapers had similar problems. Professional standards and recognized ethics were eventually formed. The development of U.S. law also contributed to what we know of as today's professional journalists and reporters. Now comes a proposed Blogger's Code of Ethics. Good idea. And Dan Gillmor reflects that laws on libel apply to everyone, not just the print or broadcast journalist. Until such standards are adopted and enforced, many "blog journalists" carry the odiferous air of yellow journalism.

The only bloggers that can legitimately lay claim to the journalist mantle are those that that factually report and analyze without bias. And the few that fit that bill have small readerships.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?