Most revolutions that have happened in the past 20 years came about as an effect of writing. First there appeared emails, web pages, text messages, and now there are blogs. Development of communication in the past shows that society has developed to a level where information is presented on screens. Blogs are a form of websites with a particular form of information. This information comprises sound files, accounts of events, graphics, links to further pages, and other types of multimedia with a commentary attached for the multimedia (Barlow, 2007). Bloggers say that there is a book inside every individual. Blogging enables us to view that book. Through blogging, people express their opinions and viewpoints. The following essay shows the importance of blogging to the society and sheds light on the views of Goldman and David Coady regarding blogging.
Blogging has an impact on society in areas such as media, awareness, public agenda, opinion, and market of ideas, blogosphere, behavior, and web (Barlow, 2007). Blogging offers many advantages to societies that are discussed below. Through blogging, we create an online community of people with similar ideas. An individual is able to air their opinions and can make comments without interruptions. Blogging keeps a check on big time media. Stories which would have never reach media stations like CNN can be developed to eventually make it there. It also gives an opportunity for one to air the news which does not fit the media stations. Blogging is a an effective way of sharing information since no one holds all the cards, that is, one decides to share some info, but it is fellow bloggers and commentators who determine how far it goes. It is a form of open source journalism.
Blogging is a way of giving a voice to those who would otherwise be voiceless (Barlow, 2007). It is also a way through which an individual can countercheck facts from the social media. In addition, it creates competition among media companies and stations making the media more proactive and motivating them to try and offer the best. Blogging also plays a huge role in politics as it is used for political and social activism. Through blogging, consumers can share their opinions on various brands.
Blogs manage to get more personal than websites while at the same time being more private than emails. They enable the society to move from a one-to-one and one-to-many to a many-to-many way of sharing viewpoints; in this way, blogging broadens the viewpoint of people in a community. Through blogs, society can obtain information that would not have been obtainable from the media due to corporate constraints. Blogging has helped various individuals to grow in their field of expertise as in the case of Pete Cashmore (Mashable) and Michael Arrington (Coady, 2011). It also provides a lot of information on topics such as health thereby enabling the individuals in the society to live a healthy life.
Alvin Goldman is a blogosphere critic. He claims that there has been a decline in conventional media due to the rise of blogging (Goldman, 2005). According to his claims, this has detrimental effects on the society as it influences our democratic decision-making and threatens our epistemic well-being. Goldman bases his argument on three points. Firstly, he asserts that the blogosphere is a parasite in the media (Goldman, 2005). Second, the blogosphere has led to people undermining conventional media; lastly, blogging unlike conventional media has no balance. Goldman sees blogosphere as a threat to journalism, yet he fails to understand that blogging is not an alternative to media. Goldman claims that blogosphere is a parasite to the media since many bloggers use or refer to information from the media when writing some pieces of work. While this may be true for some, it is not so for all. Furthermore, blogging involves a wide range of issues and allows collecting information from secondary sources.
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According to Coady (2011), blogs boost contribution and involvement; individuals can be re-empowered and communal culture restored. Coady (2011) argues that blogs give a passive person the chance to involve him/herself in debates. In a world where the public has been distancing itself from politics, it enables people to get involved thus fostering civic engagement. Civic engagement is the basis for making well thought out democratic decisions. Blogs regenerate politics and introduce a new level of answerability for politicians. Through blogs, the politicians are under constant check and are in some way monitored. Unlike in the media, information is not censored thus politicians who hope to maintain their reputation are forced to beware of what they say and do.
Blogs eat into the influence and control of formal groups and standing power structures and create some competition for corporate media power (Coady, 2011). The capability of blogs to give room for innumerable “opinions from below” means that prevailing power structures and ways of communication are impaired. Blogs pose a challenge to traditional structures of expert knowledge. They also challenge the influence of conventional media by providing a means by which folks are able to involve themselves in journalistic activities. Such “citizen journalists” demoralize and highlight the issues of partisanship, selectivity, prejudice, and bias in mainstream journalism. Blogosphere improves our ability to make sound democratic decisions. He claims this is due to the large amount of information they offered and the different viewpoints on an issue that can be acknowledged from participating in blogs.
I support the argument of Coady that blogs are essential in society, because the conventional media sifts through its news determining what to air and what to ignore. Blogging, on the other hand, does not discriminate. We can, therefore, get news on that we won’t find on conventional media in blogs. Blogs are also under no corporate restrictions and provide a good opportunity to air news that would otherwise be graphic and unconventional when aired in the media. Though it has a few letdowns, its advantages outweigh the few disadvantages. In blogs, we have a chance to give our opinion that is not alsways possible in the media. Blogs is a many-to-many way of conversing while media is a one-to-many way hence restricting sharing of ideas and opinions. Blogging has improved our epistemic well-being and decision-making abilities. It does this through showing us different points of view on a certain matter. In this way, we are more informed of what is going on and can make well thought out decisions.
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