Where Do We Go From Here

From Tom Paine to Blogs and Beyond is a quick spin through the new media and old/new journalism from the early days of our founding fathers up to the present. What is most interesting about new media is how far we have come in returning to what the author call personal journalism but what I think of as citizen journalism. Bloggerss are the pamphleteers of today and for those disenchanted with big media, blogs may be the newspapers of today as well.

I don’t read many blogs and I try to fly past any talk radio as I spin the dial but I agree with Howard Kurtz, media writer for The Washington Post that talk radio and blogs are populated with people who feel disconnected from traditional media, that the audience has grabbed the bully pulpit for themselves. I sometimes cringe when I hear some people calling in to talk radio, I am so embarrassed for them and the opinions they spout but at the same time, I am totally in awe of them. They are participating in public discourse and like bloggers, who I am oft fond of saying “where do they have the time,” well they’ve made the time to participate. They have found their voice and are using it.

When I went looking for more information on Dan Gillmor, I came across Rick Edmond’s blog <mediachannel.org/blog/node/1899/> from Media Channel.org which has some interesting comments about the blogging community and citizen journalism. Two points he made that are relevant to the Gillmor chapter are the merging of citizen journalism with media mainstream as in the subway bombings in London last summer and with Hurricane Katrina. Gillmor also mentioned how afte 911, NYC netizens used their blogs to vent, connect, grieve and let us know, just a little, what it was like to be there. To me this is where citizen journalism can not only make a difference but provide a sense of immediacy that large media conglomerates are not nimble enough or dare I say human enough to provide.

Among other items Edmonds mentioned was how Wikipedia is often updated faster and is more current than some print newspapers. Then again, sometimes Wikipdia is totally out of date. So as always in journalism from our founding fathers up to and including the present, it’s a mixed bag. Depending on your mood, new media may be just what you need or the old reliable New York TImes may suit you just fine.

Like Kathy, I don’t see blogs and net activism moving more people to take part in political discourse but I find it fascinating how much more visible citizen journalism and net activism are to the rest of us. Or I should say to those of us hanging out online.


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  • Camille Crowell  On 22 November 2005 at 10:21 am


    I think your comments regarding talk radio participants is interesting. It strikes me that the reason that blogging has taken off at rocket speed is because you can still maintain some anonymity unlike with talk radio. Still there are those who either just really need to shout their viewpoint from the rooftops or at least hear themselves talk so talk radio will not go away anytime soon I think. At least we can look forward to that.

    Thanks for your thoughts, as always!


  • David  On 22 November 2005 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Meg…

    Have you listen to XM radio before? For some reason talk shows on XM tend to be more open minded and anonymity is still in place. Do you feel radio talks shows should be open like blogs?

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