Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blogging - the pulse of a nation?

Among the blogs I read every day is Reasoned Audacity. This morning Charmaine is live-blogging a blogger workshop at the National Press Club. While the participants are presumably mostly bloggers, attending also are representatives of the organized news media (of course, since it IS the National Press Club!)

One of the concerns being discussed is whether people can get a balanced view of the news when they are "self-selecting" by reading bloggers' takes on the events of the day. As Charmaine points out, credibility has always been an issue whatever our news source. Certainly most bloggers slant the news to fit their viewpoint and to be persuasive to their readers; but it is clear to any fairly intelligent reader that OPINION is what is being offered along with news in a blog. The real concern, in my opinion, is that many people accept the news they see/read presented by the established news organizations as strictly fact, but that news venue is also sometimes slanted and filled with opinion as well.

I see a definite connection between blogging and what I wrote a few days ago about travel. When Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness... charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime", he was suggesting that as travelers become exposed to many cultures and viewpoints, their horizons are expanded. The same mind expansion is also a likely outcome with exposure to blog-presented news/opinion. Writing and reading blogs is an effective way to share opinions, beliefs, thoughts, etc. Isn't that what communication is, after all? JMHO

1 comment:

Carol said...

I agree completely -- and I still love that Mark Twain quote!