We’re all contributing to the new magnum of journalism–grassroots journalism–whether we are actively creating content or we are participating in the strata by reading blogs online. In Dan Gillmor’s We The Media: Grassroots Journalism By The People, For The People, Gillmore argues that blogs and instant news really got to a whole new level during and after 9.11.01. While citizen journalism was prevalent before the attacks on the Twin Towers, the devastating events on that day made people across all levels of society require news instantaneously.

wethemedia1.jpg

Blogs have changed our culture and general news consumption. Everyone from news outlets to politicians to celebrities understand the power of the blog, and its importance in our society today. While websites were once standard on the online forum, blogs have become the new standard. Gawker and Wonkette supply local gossip for New York and Washington respectfully, while even The New York Times has a tracker function that lists the most popular articles that have been linked in blogs as determined by blogrunner.com.

While Gillmor states that CNN refused to use blogs on their website, their website almost functions as a blog in and of itself–it is constantly updated with information, videos, content, and comments. A spokesman for CNN said that “CNN.com prefers to take a more structured approach to presenting the news. We do not blog. CNN.com will continue to provide photo galleries, video clips, breaking stories and interactive modules as a way to involve readers in learning about the war” (Gillmor, p. 116).

….Sounds an awful lot like a blog to me (maybe minus actual commentary an partisanship). Gillmor argues that the outright denouncement of blogging held in jeopardizing the network’s online reputation.

CNN recovered by finally succumbing to the flourishing trend of blogs. There is now a special section on their website which lists their current blogs–I counted seventeen blogs on their website today, and I’m sure many others will follow in the future. These blogs include Anderson Cooper’s, Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s, and a Political Ticker. In addition to meeting those demands, CNN also has a list of podcasts, RSS Feeds, and CNN Mobile and Radio options.

And now with a simple WordPress account, almost anybody can be a blogger. A great example of a blogger-turned-journalist is Perez Hilton–a virtual nobody two years ago, he has turned himself into somebody that all the celebrities fear. He loves getting the rumor mill started and takes pride in pushing the envelope.

With the blurred line between journalists and bloggers, however, would bloggers really be able to call themselves a journalist? Would they be able to attend press events under the label of “journalist”? Are they that readily acceptable at mainstream events yet? It’s a big gray area right now that seems to become less and less defined as more and more bloggers sign up for blog accounts every day. These are questions that have been raised that Gillmor does not entirely investigate in his book. What he does argue, however, is that an education in journalism does not mean what it once did (p. 131). Thanks to blogging, journalism is an ever changing institution with diminishing barriers and increased possibilities.

Advertisements