Monday, October 03, 2005

Blogs

There were many short readings this week which tackled the topic of blogging from different angles. Rather than enumerate all the perspectives, I’m going to address one theme that popped out at me, the role of blogs in the future.

Most authors, some more zealous than others, agree that blogs will grow to play an important role in media. Andrew Sulivan refers to blogs as a “…publishing revolution more profound than anything since the printing press.” He envisions a time when authors will bypass the traditional publication chain. James Fallows also foresees changes in the chain of publication, predicting devastation to publishers similar to Napster's effect on the music industry.

A more tempered view is articulated by Jay Rossen and Peter Daou. They both examine blogs in context to understand the potential of the medium. For Rossen the context is journalism, as he contemplates the nature of journalism and the conditions necessary for its existence. Daou, on the other hand, maps out the dynamics between the blogs, media, and political establishment. I find something compelling about both of these perspectives. They don’t suggest blogs will push out the traditional media. Instead they examine the potential blogs in a world with traditional media.

I was most intrigued by Daou’s article. His analysis of political objectives was fun to read despite the lack of political science in my background. In addition to amusement, I found the idea of the triangle formed between blogs, media, and the political establishment a powerful one. It’s an idea that attempts to reconcile events where the blogs have been attributed with great influence and situations where the blogs have been powerless. The analysis of this history has often been focused on blogs as if they exist in a vacuum. In contrast, Daou examines the relationships with media and politics that facilitate the success or failure of the blogs. In a sense, I think Dauo is implying the game hasn’t changed (revolutionized), but there is a new player that will rebalance the way the game is played.

This notion of the triangle is particular relevant to our assignment dealing with CNN coverage of the blogs.

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