Sunday, March 16, 2008


A funny thing happens on the way through the internet. Amongst the noise of the blogosphere can be found cogent well written, insightful and thought provoking articles scutinizing our world. Some of most intriguing articles and postings are provided by writers intimately acquainted with the circumstances. Whether these are broadly staged adventures with widespread effect in which the writers participates, or more intimate stories, the percussion resonates. Blogs are becoming another cornerstone of our appreciation for the humanity around us, its triumphs, its strength, and its frailties as well as imperfections. At least, some blogs.

Although media is often accused of bias, this picaresque debate has little authenticity and rests on perspective. We all hold biases. No one is truly objective, we simply attempt to occasionally demonstrate some tolerance, and of course most would welcome being distinguished with a measure of objectivity. Most media’s challenge is to remain “relevant” while remaining profitable. Unfortunately consolidation in some media outlets has blanched our daily dose of relevance. The overwhelming challenge for the sometimes suspecting public is two-fold.

1. Quality. This is an ingredient that is difficult and expensive to deliver whether it be TV, radio, magazines or newspapers. “Prettying” up the delivery can mask a great deal of dubious content. The public is not really fooled by, … “we’ll do whatever it takes to attract their attention, but once we have it, we’ll deliver the goods.” If the magazine arrested your attention because it has a twenty three year old wearing some dental floss on its cover, it is unlikely you’ll find insightful “content” that will stimulate your brain. On television when the softballs are lobbed, we all recognize them. We just can’t reach through the television screen and grab the microphone. Not that we’d get a better answer. Experts interviewed aren’t objective either, particularly if they’re part of the story. Newspapers appear to have become a dominant source of relevance and insight, though the blogosphere is rapidly becoming a secondary fountain of treasures. Many of the major newspapers and even some small ones have come to recognize the significance of the internet and have capitalized on its power better than others of their media brethren.

There still remains a space which blogs are increasingly occupying through imparting insights other media cannot. While the anonymity of blogs has risks as to veracity of content, it also provides firsthand candor difficult to find elsewhere. Blogs can provide a very “current” and relevant perspective on events that affect us or touch us in some manner. The diffusion of human exploits through our communal consciousness has always benefited our comprehension and appreciation of ourselves.

2. Perception. Our perception of what is acceptable has been shifted. More accurately, it has been warped. For example, it appears too often assumed that as most of the population is doing battle to survive, it receives heaping rations of stress each day, and therefore doesn’t need to be provoked in the evening as it watches television. Just entertain the population. It’s mind is tired, don’t incite it. When did we begin accepting that inference of ourselves? If this was once true, why is there currently so much interest in the whole of the American population, on the outcome of the coming elections? The average American is not only paying all his or her taxes, he and she is now more than ever paying attention. There may occasionally exist a feeling of vulnerability, but there is sincere interest. He and she is awakening to the “dumb down” effect. This is a shift in perception.

This shift has inevitably been stirred by the ubiquitous nature of the internet and the blogosphere further stimulating individual common sense quite capable of deciphering the authentic and cogent, from the dubious and inadequate. Our collective consciousness is being stimulated by a new prevailing reality complementing the fourth estate.


  1. I think your observations about the way blogging can and is complimenting the news industry are generally true. However, I think I still think that journalists fill a certain niche and that the industry endures, but I'm not sure I have any good answers about how to turn a profit to keep the business going.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on my post The Internet is Generation Y's Fourth Estate, Journalists Just Need To Accept It.

  2. Jaclyn

    Thank you for the feedback.

    I agree with you. The internet is changing the profession, even enhancing it.

    While the aggregation is inevitable and cumbersome, it is also positive. The internet is still in its infancy, and new tools will evolve the way we discover the gems. We won’t always have to rely on the New York Times or other “authority” with vetting sources. Inevitably the cream will float.

    All such contribution is an evolution of the fourth estate, however, since we all have biases, the vast majority is not appetizing, and too often simply recapitulatory.

    One of the points of “Blogs Complement The Fourth Estate” is that new constructive insights will serendipitously surface from individuals who are not “journalists” but are part of the story. There are advantages and disadvantages to the anonymity offered by the internet. Some produces vast amounts of nonsense, and some produces excellent contribution to our collective comprehension.

    For example, on the lighter side, wouldn’t you enjoy reading a detailed and truthful “fly on the wall” personal account of Bill Gate’s drubbing of John Akers and IBM 26 years ago? Some momentous events cannot and will not be recounted. The repercussions would be embarrassing and damaging. Not that anonymity would guarantee truth, because there is always ego processing the “retelling” but we’d get so much closer to authenticity.

    Happy blogging.
    James Raider