“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”- Abbott Joseph Libeling, from ‘Citizen Journalists‘ by Rettberg
Although freedom of speech is a right designated to all, in the old days, freedom of press was a reality only for those who had access to means. When more people began having the ability to share their written word the issue of censorship came into play. The internet is a solution to all of these obstacles. Anyone is able to spread their words and thoughts instantly. The cost of production is eliminated- anyone in the modern Western world can access publishings through mobile phones, computers etc. Censorship is relatively eliminated when anyone is able to access the internet and share their opinions.
Blogs and Journalism…
This accessibility has changed news media as well. If an article does not explore an issue to the extent a reader is looking for, they can find another outlet such as a different article, blog or story. Blogs have become very mainstream, thus they are intersecting with journalism. Blogs have become especially competitive with entertainment journalists, such as the tabloid blogger Perez Hilton.
Bloggers are also able to circumvent the truth in a way that is frowned upon by professional journalists. They are able to show transparent biases and actually gain an audience for it. Many people are attracted to articles and stories that connect with their beliefs and ideals. However, readers must acknowledge that there is a difference between authenticity and credibility. Though a bloggers thoughts may be authentic, they may not be a credible educated source on the matter.
Blogs can also give a new perspective that was not available before- such as blogging from a war zone. Soldiers that are actually involved in the fight give a first hand account that can be very persuasive especially by appealing to peoples emotions. Bloggers are able to allow what content is published just as traditional journalists are, a process known as gate watching. However, bloggers do not have the responsibility to report the truth, if they feel that their ideals should be what is portrayed, they can do that.
Blogs empower citizens in a way that previous sources did not. They allow anyone to be considered a news source or opinionated writer. People who have been present at news worthy events have a perspective that is respected in a new way that was previously not possible without technology and blogs.