Friday, June 15, 2012

Journalism versus Blogging

Yesterday I read a article by a journalist discussing the possible demise of journalism because of changes in the way news is transmitted. Newspapers might be struggling for sales as the public turns to online news sources. The trend towards online subscriptions seems to be a way towards maintaining revenue but success of this business model is far from guaranteed. The internet has accustomed us towards expecting information for free. This leaves journalists in a precarious position because if the newspaper business struggles to make ends meet, then journalists incomes and career prospects suffer. So when journalists criticize bloggers as being merely commentators and not sources of news stories, they are expressing a fear of a perceived threat to their livelihood.
It is true that bloggers merely regurgitate news stories and comment on these news items. So what? Why should bloggers be seen as a threat to journalists?
It is the business model of selling news through newspapers that is the issue and not bloggers. Bloggers merely circulate, regurgitate and disseminate news that has already been reported by journalists.
If there is a direct threat to journalists doing their jobs, it's coming from governments who place restrictions on the freedom of information.
Consider the example of Julian Assange. Is he a journalist as he sees himself? He certainly is exposing information that would otherwise remain secret as governments want it to remain. The secrets exposed by Wikileaks might be embarrassing but certainly do not pose a threat to security of any nation. That point of view is emotional rather than rational.
It's seems that governments controlling the news media and what news they may or may not publish is the preferred model. In the U.K .David Cameron is in the spotlight, attempting to explain and justify his close relationship with the media.
Bloggers might not be news sources but they certainly balance the opinions that might be biased one way or another when only the media controls news opinion.

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