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November 27, 2005

Everyone wants to blog- Chapters 6/7

Chapter 6
In Chapter 6 of We the Media, Gillmor discusses how professional journalists are also taking advantage of weblogs. Many big news corporations do not want weblogs sponsored on their sites, but many journalists have created their own personal weblogs. In some instances this has led to major problems for both the corporations and the individual journalist.

I thought the example of Kevin Sites was really interesting. Sites worked for CNN, an organization that did not allow weblogs. Sites was forced to quit writing his blog because CNN “prefers to take a more structured approach to presenting the news. We do not Blog.” Gillmor feels that this hurt CNN, because they refused to see that new technology is changing news, and by not allowing blogging they are refusing to change with the times. I think this is a tricky topic, because I feel every individual should have the right to their freedom of speech. Sites made a personal blog, which would be part of his personal life and should be separate from his work life. But, I can also see the point CNN is trying to make. Sites is an employee hired to provide news. A blog may have more personal opinions than a straight news report. Someone reading Sites’ personal blog may disagree with something he has said, and then discredit his reports on CNN or CNN in general.

I am really unsure of what I think about this issue. We are all promised freedom of speech, but we need to realize it has to be reasonable. Like Dr. Jerz has said in class, he has freedom of speech, but as a Seton Hill employee he could not say bad things about the school. Although it may be an oxymoron, there are limits to freedom.

Chapter 7
Since blogs are becoming so popular, events that are shut off to the press are still being reported on through professional blogs. This creates a problem, because something intended to be off the record is now public. I love and agree with the comment made by Howard Rheingold on this topic. Rheingold was asked if thought speakers would be afraid to be to say certain things, because it may become public. Rheingold said, “I would think it would have a chilling effect on bullshit.” I think that is so true. If people know what they say might become public, then they will me more likely to tell the truth. What is so bad about that?

Posted by JennaOBrocto at November 27, 2005 11:46 AM


I can agree that the truth needs to be exposed any way possible. One problem is though is that people can give "feeder" or basically bullshit to anyone just so that they can get their name out there. I think that as much online NEWS is make a leap, online BS is also making a leap. I believe that there should be some categorization of blogging. If you are doing academic blogging, fine. Blogging for News, awesome. Opinions? Sweet. But keep them separated. It is very likely that people could get the wrong facts and say "but so and so put this on their blog" and be absolutely wrong. I'm not against blogging in any way, and I'm not saying to restrict blogging. I just feel that separating news and opinions is the first way to make online journalism successful.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at December 1, 2005 1:25 PM

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