A blog about Politics, Texas, and Academia

The New Generation of Journalism: Bloggers

In Constitutional Rights, Culture, Internet, Media, Politics on November 16, 2007 at 10:02 am

First Amendment

Are Bloggers this generation’s muckraker’s? I have to admit that it is much easier to sit in the comfort of my own home, on my sofa, with my laptop, blogging away about which candidate did what and to whom. It’s much easier to hide behind a computer screen than the old days of putting one’s opinion in front of someone that may strike it down and out of a publication. Blogging gives a whole new meaning to “Freedom of the Press.” 🙂

From the Politico’s Martin Tolchin’s today:

To me, it’s back to the future. The bloggers are a throwback to the early days of the Republic, when citizens published their opinions in broadsheets they handed out in public squares and nailed to community bulletin boards. Most were loaded with opinions laced with vitriol.

Fortunately, one doesn’t need a license to blog any more than journalists are licensed. The late Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black believed in absolute freedom of the press and opposed libel laws on the grounds that only those with extraordinary financial resources could sue mass-circulation newspapers.

Better to dispense with the libel laws, he believed, rather than imply that a statement must be true because the subject failed to take legal action. In any event, he believed, one must read newspapers with a grain of salt and not assume that everything one reads is gospel.

Although bloggers in particular, and the Internet in general, are part of a great tradition, they have also created a problem. They have undermined the mass-circulation media, which have cut back reporting staffs that provide the grist for the bloggers’ opinions. Not that bloggers need data.

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