The Rise of the Blogosphere – #3

I found the chapter on the move towards public journalism to be very intriguing. Often when the term journalist is mentioned, one envisions someone employed by a newspaper or other media outlet. However, rarely is it considered that one could take up the profession entirely on their own.

This relates directly back to the concept of blogging. A blog is a great platform to pick up this endeavor and pursue the reporting of accurate information and news to the public. The thought here, which is also mentioned in the chapter, is that professional journalists are limited in what they are able to report. For example, perhaps their employer has ties to a certain individual or company, and therefore prohibits their employee from reporting on a certain subject that relates to it. While this is the employer’s way of “covering their own ass” it disables the journalist from fully doing their job.

This is where the idea of public journalism comes into play. Picture the “average Joe” rising to the occasion and taking to the blogosphere to report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Even if the truth may not be what people want to hear right now. Even if the report will tarnish a particular individual’s or company’s reputation. In my mind, to become a public journalist is to become an activist, fighting against those who are, at this very moment, doing everything in their power to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.

So what are you waiting for? Get to it.

“Your silence gives consent.” – Plato

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The Rise of the Blogosphere – #2

In chapter six about the rise of professional journalism, I made two connections. The first being that I am taking an investigative journalism class this semester. The second, that this is a unique time to be considering journalism as a whole. Due to the recent presidential inauguration, the current President is looking to pass quite a few executive bills. Based on what news has come from the White House, it sounds like he wants to limit the information that companies, organizations, businesses, etc. make available to the public. Why is this important? Because it would significantly limit what information journalists will have access to. In turn, journalists would be unable to report their findings to the public, and thus leave the public out of the loop almost entirely.

To me, it all ties back into activism. This motion to limit public access to information is a conscious and carefully crafted planned move to cut the American people off. It is a direct hit on the Right to Know Law that so many journalists rely on in order to do their job. Without it, what journalists are able to gather up will be significantly lessened, and as a result, the American people will slowly go blind over time to what is really happening in not only their country, but in their very government as well, and that is a very, very dangerous possibility for the future of our country.

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Their governments should be afraid of their people.” – V for Vendetta

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The Rise of the Blogosphere #1

I appreciated that this book opened up with a shout-out to Benjamin Franklin. Last semester in Dr. Vogel’s American Literature class, we learned about good ole Ben and the rise of newspapers and general interest in news itself due to the ease of access to information that simply wasn’t available in previous years. Newspapers and pamphlets were the first forms of blogs. Why? Because books were still very expensive to print at the time, despite the technological advances that were in the works. Newspaper articles and pamphlets had the task of reporting something within a limited amount of space. While blogs today can range from just a few words a post, if you are very eccentric, to thousands of words in one post, typically the posts themselves are within a lose word count range. People just don’t post whole novels in one blog post, generally.

Most people tend to hear the word ‘blog’ and imagine a cat sweater wearing woman, hunched over with glasses far too large for her face shape, tea cup in hand, typing at a snail’s pace on a computer straight from the nineties. While that most certainly represents some of the bloggers on the Internet, it by no stretch represents them all. But more importantly, the content associated with that cat lady tends to be viewed as a trifle and nothing more. However, just as Ms. Whiskers does not accurately represent every blogger, neither does her blog post on the various types of catnip and her cats reactions to them represent all of the content that can be found in a blog.

I feel that an unfortunate majority of people neglect to see the value in having a blog. It, quite literally, gives one a platform from which to project information and insight into the world. A user can educate, engage, and inspire their readers with thought-provoking posts.

As dear old Ben once said, “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

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Why I Chose This Class

I choose to enroll in ENG 318: Activists Writing Media: Composing Democratic Futures because, quite frankly, I didn’t give a damn about social movements, or politics really, for that matter. It wasn’t until I started college that I realized how much of an impact the decisions that are being made in Congress today will impact not only myself, but millions of others as well. Even more so, that if I do not voice my opinion, stand up, and take action on fighting for my rights, I’ll lose them. I cannot bank on the hope that someone else will always be there to carry the picket sign or knock down hypocrites on social media. As the older generations who have fought for the rights of others pass on, it falls to the next generation to rise up and take their place.

Why this course? I feel that it will not only open my eyes to the influence that social media has on its users, but also enable me to use the same tools to my advantage to speak out against sexism, ageism, racism, and other both social and political movements that need to be addressed.

When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” – V for Vendetta

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