A blog, by definition, according to Dictionary.com, is “a web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other web sites”. This entity has evolved from simple and innocent social interactions into a major information hub. The accessibility of blogging is a major advancement for the journalism world, but the fact that there is no limit to who may practice brings about a detrimental factor.
Kera Simpson, a 22 year-old working mother of two, a confessed “blog-feign”, chooses to collect her entertainment news from random blogs. The issue that persists is that many of these alleged reliable blogs that she frequents often supply information that is poorly researched, and low in truth.
“A lot of the information I get from certain blogs ends up being false. Even though they may be written with journalistic style, like having articles embedded, sometimes those articles are from other blogs that are not credible.”
But these are the very sites that many people frequent and choose as a news source. According to the Are Bloggers Journalists? article(http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/are-bloggers-journalists/), “audience size is growing for many, and collectively bloggers have a reach equal to or greater than traditional media across many categories.”
“For me, I think I learned my lesson because a lot of the blogs that I read are written by people who just have an interest in the topics. They are just writing freely, and including a lot of opinions. From now on I’ll stick to magazine sites or sites of official writers.”
Many of the bloggers Simpson described are probably unaware of the fact that even though they may feel they are simply rewriting something they read or that they are only expressing their opinions, when one has an audience and they are spreading libelous information, that individual can be sued. According to a New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/12/11/are-all-bloggers-journalists) piece, they “can’t claim the protections afforded to journalists” unless they are affiliated with a “newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system.”
The nature of blogging isn’t the source of controversy on whether it is to be considered real journalism or not. The issue is the practitioners of blogging and the way they choose to appropriate their voices.