Blogging is not something that is easy to pin down. A lot of it is based on opinion, but I think in the overall scheme of things blogging, and the future of blogging, are determined by two things: journalists and non-journalists. I realize that labeling something so black and white may be a bit foolish, but as a soon-to-be graduated journalist, I have been educated with a predisposition to feel this way. What I mean is that I have been taught the finer points of how the journalism industry works. I understand the value of reporting accurately, fairly and truthfully more than most. I understand the journalistic ethics and the value of credibility; however, I am also fully aware that most people who go on the Internet to blog do not necessarily have the same educational background as me.
I think that
when blogging first came to be, writers had the best intentions in their method
as a way to connect more with the readers and possibly tap into newer
demographics. By adding a bit of personality into their stories, but also
reporting factual information, the journalism industry became more human. By
more human I mean readers could develop a relatable feeling with the writer as
opposed to just reading non-emotional words in the newspaper or hearing them
being spoken on their local/national news broadcast. As the popularity of
blogging grew, so did the people who partook. Today as I scan around the
Internet, no matter what site I visit I can easily come across three or more
bloggers per site. One site in particular, MLB.com, has dozens of bloggers. As
it seems, anyone with an opinion can easily chime in and call themselves a writer.
This is the where I become confused about the “role” of the blogger.
The way I
see it is that the role of the blogger has become sort of a glorified town
crier. Except in this case they all seem to be roaming the streets, waving their
bells and belting out “the news” at the top of their lungs within the same area
as one another. In quite a few cases there really isn’t a lot of evidence to
support their claims. Blogging, to me, has become something more of the people by
the people, but not something of the journalism industry. While there
are still news-based firms that have bloggers on staff, the definition and role
has been passed down to the trivial areas of culture: i.e. fashion, film,
sports, etc. Even now I look at the blog that I have been writing for the past
two years and can honestly say that the vast majority of it is personal
experiences and stories, not really anything that can be defined as journalism.
They’re all true stories, but then again so are a lot of other peoples’ blogs. As
much as I enjoy what blogging is and what it stands for, I think it’s role is
just something that will continue to evolve as more people get turned on to it.