I read an article a while back in the Victoria Advocate about blogs. Our own resident blogger here on Vicad, Kelli was quoted (yay Kelli!).
The article was very informative and I enjoyed reading what Kelli had to say about blogging. However I do have an objection to something mentioned in the article.
I beg to differ on what the reporter wrote here about the number of bloggers in Victoria:
Trungale remains one of the relatively few people engaged in the practice in the Victoria area. That role remains somewhat limited in the region, according to the leaders of the more traditional media.
Perhaps the reporter needed to do a little more research and not depend so much on the input from these leaders of the more "traditional media." I know more than a "few people" in Victoria who have blogs. I'm sure the number of bloggers are probably not as great as in a larger metropolitan area. However for a city the size of Victoria we have a decent amount of bloggers. I did my own search on Xanga, an Internet site that hosts free blogs. During that search I found a list of 1,295 members of the Victoria blogring. I have yet to do a search on Blogspot.com or Myspace.com, but I'm sure I would find similar numbers there as well.
I raised an eyebrow at first when I read this line in the article:
While blogs can help learn the pulse of a community, thus far they have little effect on news coverage.
But then my concerns about that line dissolved when I read some comments from Rafael Vela, an assistant professor of mass communication at Texas State University:
Blogs have forced some stories into the mainstream media that might not have been covered otherwise, Vela said.
Trent Lott was forced to resign his Senate leadership position on information largely carried first by blogs, Vela said. Doubt about the authenticity of memos used in a story by Dan Rather on President George W. Bush's National Guard service was also first spread through blogs. Strong blogging contributed to both stories being picked up by mainstream media.
I know blogs aren't going to replace the traditional forms of media anytime soon. However I have tend to disagree with those who try to discount the power of blogs.
I was reading an article at webpronews.com that mentioned this:
Despite the fact that only 1% of mainstream journalists rate information found on blogs as "credible", research into the habits of journalists conducted by Columbia University shows that just over half of them used blogs for source material..."As blogs continue to gain in popularity, quality and influence, it is becoming imperative that journalists and journalism students continue to integrate blogs, especially blogs that cover technology, into their reporting practices," said Steven S. Ross, associate professor at Columbia University and a partner in the study.
Will blogs produce the Woodward and Bernstein? Only time will tell.
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