With the world of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, an increasing amount of people have access to publicizing their views online. Bloggers are now part of the media scene along with journalists. Recently, the question was posed if bloggers are journalists, with people coming down on either side. Many people raise the issue of credibility as the main marker of difference between blogger and journalist. This simple divide overlooks the fact that there have been many journalists with credibility issues as well.
What about the Judith Millers and Jayson Blairs? Those in the press corp who signed off on fabricated stories of weapons of mass destruction in the run up to the Iraq War? Andrew Breitbart, the blogger responsible for concocting the Shirley Sherrod debacle, was another example of a detriment to the honest reporting of news. Ultimately, there has to be room for bloggers to be considered as viable sources in a rapidly changing world. Especially when traditional newspapers are vanishing.
Perhaps the answer wont come right away. As time goes on, it is apparent that these new technologies have opened a door that will not ever be closed again. Our political leaders and thinkers will have to catch up to the world as it is, not as it was.
-Marc W. Polite