Friday, November 03, 2006

Blogger stands trial

I've always found it fascinating how different media report a story. Different mediums present messages differently - the news on television often brings a story home by showing its events; radio lets you hear the participants, and The story you'll get on global TV, compared with the story on the CBC always interested me. I grew up in a house where the newspaper was always there to be read, and get most of my news now on the internet.

I'm convinced that blogs are changing traditional media. During the bombings in Lebanon this summer, various blogs reported the events as they were happening - real time journalism from the perspective of people right there on the ground.

My future brother-in-law pointed out a story to me the other night that I'll be following closely.

It's a blogger named Charles LeBlanc who was charged with obstructing justice at a protest in Saint John, New Brunswick at a protest last June. He was not participating in the demonstration, only standing next to other media. He's challenging the traditional definition of media, saying that as a blogger, he too is media. He reports the news as he sees it and is evidently a fixture around the province, reporting stories.

The other twist, is that his perspective is not that of your everyday journalist with degrees and a high position in society. LeBlanc is on social assistance and often eats at a soup kitchen to get by- and, while I gather journalism jobs often don't pay well, his perspective is likely different from . His camera was donated, and he writes the stories himself.

So here's the question: Are bloggers legitimate media who should be afforded the same status as regular media?


Henly said...

I don't know much about the whole media thing, but isn't there some sort of license or at least a card that identifies official media types?

scarbie doll said...

Totally unrelated, but I hadn't "popped by" in a while and wanted to say that I love the new look!

Tough call. Though bloggers are important in that they can say whatever they want and be honest about a topic, without the constraints of an editor....Without the editor there is limited fact-checking. Tough tough.

The Waghorns said...

I take issue with the phrase "citizen journalism," which is being tossed around now to describe what bloggers do. I'm not sure what makes a blogger any different than someone working for a paper.

As Henly pointed out, even during my time in the press it bothered me that there was no accreditation, no license, no guidelines of rules and ethics that someone who called themselves a journalist, producer, editor or writer had to swear. Until there's some sort of certificate or license to hang in one's office or keep in a wallet, a blogger is just as much a journalist as Diane Sawyer ... or Bill O'Reilly.

Please, think about that one and let your brain freeze on the horror.

To me citizen journalism is like saying "past history" or "me myself."

Trish said...

I say NO, because most bloggers blog for personal reasons, and do not report the news, they just comment on it. It's more of an editorial-type thing. Having spent time in the courtroom definding my own blog entries, I think bloggers should not be irresponsible about what they write, but they should not be considered "media." Bloggers are more of a written version of the water cooler gossip session.