Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Journalist?"

..


Journalist?

Me? No. Nope. Nada. Never claimed to be one. Don’t want to be one. Don’t think I will ever be one.

Recently I summarized comments made to the post about the “Democrat Victory Party Agenda” and did not use actual quotes in doing so. I was called on this and I corrected my statement but still feel the same way about my summary. Not something a “Journalist” would do, but like I said I am not one, but this opens the debate on the growth of “Bloggers” in the internet world and the Pros\Cons of this…


Attended the VCAP “Virginia-Conservative-Action-PAC” convention this past weekend in Richmond and sat in on a conference of several well known political bloggers. When not patting each other on the backs or attacking each other it was informative and they discussed the influence of bloggers on the last election and how “news” has come to be reported. It is not always now the local or national “Mainstream” media outlets deciding what is and is not news anymore.


Blogger’s in the past have filled the “Voids” that were left when the Mainstream decided what was not interesting or “Newsworthy” for us to see. They have also provided “news” and reports when the local media was not there or looking the other way. Remember back last year when we had the election recount for the Attorney General seat that was won by Republican Bob McDonnell? Here in Staunton the media did stop by and observed for a bit but there was no real news that night, and little coverage the next day once it was determined that McDonnell actually won. The night of the recount there were many reports on the blog’s of Virginia with people reporting what they saw at the actual recounts with gains and loses… The bloggers reported the changes and final result long before the “Traditional” media did…


This “media coverage” continues…
Here in Staunton a week before the 2006 election Senator Allen stopped by a local restaurant for breakfast and to meet with 160+ supporters and patrons at the restaurant. The Senator stayed for about 45 minutes, met with the local press, and made an informative speech outlining the issues important to the citizens of Virginia. Our local newspaper had a reporter there the whole time but failed to mention it at all in its news copy the next day. Not even a tagline in a sentence to even note the U.S. Senator had been in town. In contrast the Democratic candidate had visited Staunton weeks before and stayed “15 minutes” and received half of the front page with large photo the next day in the same newspaper. The lack of the U.S. Senators visit in coverage was noted by many and several stated that they turned to the blogs as to what happened and what was not reported. Just this week Delegate Chris Saxman met with the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce and spoke about the proposal consolidating VDOT to save money and improve roadwork. This proposal will reduce the number of VDOT maintenance facilities from 335 to 244 across Virginia and make them more efficient. One local newspaper covered this meeting and proposal on their front page with direct quotes and information. The newspaper that failed to mention the above visit by Senator Allen did not report anything, not even a mention, of this meeting and the proposal… Another Void?


Every week or so I take a look over at the “Air America” station to see what they are up to and ironically this week they were talking about the influence of blogs also. I found it interesting to see that they claim they are needed to keep the “Mainstream” media from being the lapdogs of the Presidents administration! Lap Dogs???!!! This is the media that has attacked him whenever possible and even made up a memo or two that got Dan Rather and CBS in some hot water…


The popularity of blogs has happened because of technology and the free market we have. It is now possible for people to get their message, observations, ideas, thoughts, and opinions out there in a format where others can read and reply themselves. Recently one of the local newspapers website introduced their blogs per department of the newspaper. The Editor has a blog. Sports Department has a blog. Opinions editor has a blog. Two reporters had a blog. (What happened with that?.) Each department could post items regarding topics to their department\position for the community to see and respond to. In fact a reader posted the other day “I know from others in the Gannett organization that they encourage their editorial writers to be as controversial as possible”. I do not know the person making that statement on the NewsLeaders blog or what source he has but it does tie into what is happening on some blogs. The NewsLeader blog posted this question the other day about Virginia Senator George Allen after he gave his concession speech.

“but did anyone else get the feeling the outgoing junior senator from Virginia had had a liquid lunch?”. “Was Allen blitzed?”

This is why blogs have become popular and are growing as a source of news, news not reported by the mainScream, opinions, questions, trivia, and observations that just don’t always get reported.


Like I said. Not a Journalist. Never was. Never wanted to be. Probably never will be one. But like the ability to get the questions\statements out there to be discussed… Just filling the “Void”…

2 comments:

JohnMaxfield said...

You make EXTREMELY valid and TRUE points RightSide. You have stood up and spoken for what our cause is about. It will be a great day when the true bloggers of the world are reporting the RIGHT news and the MSMs of the world have faded into the background of where bloggers now sadly find themselves in.
This is what we have to deal with, are working against, and hoping to surpass--we are the TRUE media and news.

RightsideVA said...

Blogs will only gain in popularity and people will trust them more when they provide sources and even conduct their own interviews. The MainScream media has even adapted if you look at the NewsLeader they are even getting into the "Blog-World"...