Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most

exciting and controversial applications of technology

that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the

blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to

update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs

tends to be more current than the news in the paper, or

on television. Unlike news delivered by these other

media, news that appears on blogs does not have to

travel through a series of editors and administrators

before it reaches the public eye. This has some

advantages, and some distinct disadvantages.

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog

before appearing in other media took place in July 2005

when terrorism struck London. As passengers were

evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one

man took several photographs of the scene with his

cellular phone, and within an hour these images were

posted online. First-person accounts of the catastrophe

began appearing on blogs soon after these photos

appeared, and people all over the world learned about

the events in London by reading the words and seeing

the photos posted by bloggers.

The fact that these stories and images were being spread

directly by individuals operating without the added

filter of a reporter helped to make the crisis feel very

immediate to people across the globe. When it comes to

blogging, news often appears in a very personal context.

This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting

new era of reporting, one that takes “New Journalism”

to it’s logical next step by putting the power to shape

how the news is written and read directly into the hands

of the public.

Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are

champions of the weblog movement feel that this

growing trend of individuals who getting their news

from blogs is a good thing, because it makes the flow of

information more democratic. By decentralizing the

control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the

field of debate about important current events.

However, many people are adamantly opposed to the

use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of

good arguments on this side of the debate. Unlike

newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact-

checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic

accountability on many blogs. This can lead to the rapid

spread of misinformation, and more than one falsehood

has taken the blogosphere by storm. The questions

about whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or

not are very complicated, but no matter where you stand

on the topic of current events blogs you are almost sure

to agree that this movement has the potential to

revolutionize how modern people get their news.

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