This web site was cyberjournalist.net and provides a comprehensive list of different blogging sites - what's new, what's been around the longest, etc.
I found an interesting link to information about one of the first blogs used to cover a major news event. It happened in 1998 with the coverage of Hurricane Bonnie for the Charlotte Observer by Jonathan Dube.
Dube and a team of journalists covering the hurricane update the web every half-hour and decided to post this information to get readers up-to-speed on new developments, which the newspaper couldn't do.
They proved that this form of blogging was journalistically sound, by editing the stories, etc., just as they would have for the paper. They made a breakthrough when deciding to use blogs as a journalistic medium instead of newsprint.
More information about this can be found at Poynter Online: http://www.poynter.org
This article was written by J.D. Lasica about blogging and journalism. Lasica was quoted in the first article "Blogging: the new journalism?". Here he explains, along with other writers, that weblogs provide alternative writers with a creative outlet. It was posted in March of 2002, predicting that blogging would take a large role in journalism. Lasica predicted that bloggers would take on roles as "amateur journalists."
Here's what the other three writers thought:
Paul Andrews - thought blogs were gaining popularity due to the decline in big media's credibility and wasn't sure how popular it would end up
Deborah Branscum - reasons web blogs are cool: creative freedom, instantaneity, interactivity, lack of marketing constraints; wasn't willing to say that blogging would replace traditional journalism
Glenn Fleishman - believed that blogging wasn't superior or inferior to traditional forms of journalism, but was "fascinated" with the new form of media
These journalists were unable to predict in 2002 what the craze would be for blogging in 2005, even though they all really liked the new medium. This poses some questions about whether or not the credibility of blogging has increased from then to now. Then blogs were used for some reporting, but mainly to state the blogger's opinion on an issue. Today citizen journalism is taken quite seriously by readers and many do read blogs as a way to get their daily fill of the news.
The address for the site is: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1017958873.php
The article titled "Bloggers vs. Journalists is over" by Jay Rosen was written for a conference on blogging, journalism and credibility.
It explains the fear that has been instilled in many news organizations due to their audiences taking over and reporting news on their own. Many organizations are fearful, due to the fact that the competition is not coming from other newspapers, but from people who read the newspapers. Blogging is becoming more popular and is, no doubt, considered journalistic when it's accurate, etc.
The fear is that this form of relaying the news will take over the more traditional forms - newspapers.
Rosen outlined his main points for the lecture discussion as these: 1.) Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one, and blogging means practically anyone can own one. That is the Number One reason why weblogs matter. It is the broadest and deepest of all factors making this conference urgent. 2.) Instead of starting with "do blogs have credibility?" or "should blogging obey journalism ethics?" we should begin in a broader territory, which is trust. Trust as it is generated in different settings, online and off, in both blogging and in journalism— or in life. 3.) Look around: blogging partakes of a resurgent spirit of amateurism now showing in many fields earlier colonized by professionals. Why would journalism be immune? 4.) If news as lecture could yield to news as conversation, as some have recommended, it might transform the credibility puzzle because it would feed good information to journalists about the trusters and what they do and do not put their trust in. 5.) Among bloggers there is the type "stand alone journalist," and this is why among journalists there now stands the type: blogger.
I agree with the fact that blogging in some forms can be considered journalism and don't think it's a real threat to traditional newspapers and news organizations. I also think that citizen journalism is popular because it brings the reader of the blog closer to the event.
In conclusion, Rosen spoke of the tsunami disaster and his final thoughts about blogging as journalism:
"Because bloggers vs. journalists is over, better and better comparisons can be drawn between the two. Simon Waldman of the Guardian said that the tsunami disaster 'has shown both the greatest strengths of citizens’ journalism, and its greatest weakness.'
The great strength is clearly the vividness of first person accounts. And, in this case, the sheer volume of them. Pretty much every story of everyone who experienced the tsunami is moving in someway or other - and thanks to blogs, text messages, camcorders and the overall wonderfulness of the net, there have never been so many stories recorded by so many people made so widely available to whoever who wants to find them, whenever they want to find them."
The entire article can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/ and then clicking on the linke titled, "bloggers vs. Journalists is over."
This article by Jody Raynsford from the Online Journalism News Web site provides an insight into what journalists and others really think of blogging as a form of journalism. Some agreed that it can be considered journalism because alot of blogging is based on fact and fact checking is very possible. They also agreed because it provides insight to some news events and an "additional layer of information" for readers.
One of the most popular forms of blogging is citizen journalism, where people can get the most up-to-date "news" about the Iraq war and other events. Here is an excerpt about citizen journalism from the article:
"Readers are flocking to online news sites by the millions for the latest news about the war in Iraq," JD Lasica, senior editor of the Online Journalism Review, told dotJournalism. "But the story doesn't end there.
"They are also streaming to weblogs for sceptical analysis, critical commentary, alternative perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media, [such as] the views of foreigners, and the occasional first-person account. A handful of reporters in the Gulf region are maintaining weblogs to provide fuller, more personal and colourful reporting of what they are witnessing first-hand."
Many argue that those involved with the media should jump on the bandwagon of blogging, due to its newness and becoming evermore popular.
"If the news media chooses to ignore it, it'll continue to lose a chance to connect with readers on an intimate daily basis. And they'll become a bit less relevant with each passing day," said Lasica.
However, many others think that blogging is just blogging and cannot be considered journalism. They argued that it lacks the real hard news and mixes in too much of the writer's personality and personal views to be considered factual.
The article can be found at: http://www.journalism.co.uk/features/story604.html
This essay as written in response to an article about words and how their meaning changes in a much larger context than just how they are used in sentences.
Stefans doesn't exactly agree with this theory and neither do I. Here's a good example:
"I don't imagine Alexander Pope or Jonathan Swift would have been nearly as effective satirists in a universe characterized by an inchoate summing of words, and neither Lolita nor Naked Lunch would have been banned (or Salman Rushdie sentenced to death) were their content to have been so utterly transformed by the neighboring graphics of the book cover or paper quality, not to mention the person reading the book."
I agree with his argument that words, especially in electronic writing, do not need art to add meaning, but rather art needs words. I think when there aren't any illustrations in a book, the meaning of the words is much more powerful and you are forced to use your imagination to "picture" what is going on. In the same way, when I read someone's blog entry, I find it much more appealing when there aren't pictures (as long as it isn't a novel).
Text is also much more appealing when it is to the point and actually has some meaning. Anyone can write a bunch of words and form a paragraph, but that doesn't mean it's good or that it makes sense. Words should be chosen carefully in a lot of cases - they are supposed to emphasize what you're trying to say, not just be an aside.
This goes for literature as well as journalism - newsprint. Newsprint is very concise and to the point - there isn't a lot of word play unless the article being written is a feature piece of some kind. Everything has to be written for newsprint in a certain style, tone and using the most effective words that draw in readers. Pictures are used to illustrate what's going on and to draw the readers in, but most of the time you can't tell the entire story through one image. You may be able to deduce a part of a story from a picture, but not all of it. Quotes are also used to illustrate the main points of a story. Without the words being carefully chosen, reporting would not have the same effect on people. The story and all of the facts would not be present, the news would be longer, poorly written, etc.