21 July 2005

Rise of the bloggers

The days of the editors with their op-ed pages ruling the world of public opinion are not as strong as they used to be. That domain now includes bloggers – with their ability to generate and encourage public dialogue. Bloggers have made news interactive… feeding the public, collecting feedback, and sharing. Today, opinion can come from anyone, from any direction. The newspaper’s one-to-many broadcast domain has been challenged by blogging’s many-to-many online space.

Technology has made a great contribution here. Telecommunications and the Internet with its many-to-many paradigm have entirely changed the function of broadcast media. Look at the options before us: Besides the press, television and radio, we have mobilephones, mobilephones with picture-taking ability, email, chat, websites, blogs.

With these tools, the power of opinion has shifted from the hands of the news servers (editors and journalists) to the news consumers (the public) themselves. The coverage of the tsunami disaster and the London bombing are testimony to this. Using easy-to-use Web publishing tools and Internet connection, as well as increasingly powerful mobile devices, the blogger has become an active participant in the creation and dissemination of news and information. And, of opinion.

This means the media has become more democratic – challenging the traditional models of news creation and delivery systems. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the days of the op-ed pages and the news editors are over. Newspaper editors – and their ideas – still have influence. But they don’t rule that domain anymore. Today, they share that space with bloggers.

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