Saturday, July 31, 2004

Blogs as Threats at Dem Convention

At the Dem Convention blogs were certainly seen as a threat by the established media of tv, radio, magazines and newspapers. "I think that bloggers have put the issue of professionalism under attack" said Thomas McPhail, professor of media studies in the New York Times. Even a political cartoonist took a swipe.

Any new medium threatens the established media. In the 1950's television news coverage was seen as unprofessional and not worthy of being called news. It was said to have presented an unrealistic view of the process. Sounds like what critics said of blog coverage now.

Blogs, like other media, uniquely present an event. Television has given us the "sound bite" and "speech over by 11:00." Newspapers provide in-depth reports. And blogs provide the hyperlinked post which other media can not provide. Each medium provides yet another glimpse of what is really happening.

Once you realise that each medium can uniquely present an event, then it is easier to accept blogs as a news medium that deserves a place at the table. And because blogs provide a different type of coverage they will develop their own "journalistic" standards. Some will come from leaders. Some from learning from mistakes. Eventually these will be recognised and people can stop arguing that bloggers are not journalists. 

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