Why Does the TV Media follow blogs so closely?

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Hi Gang:

I watch the Cable News Networks as much as anyone else and I always wonder why Blogs seem to be such an important issue to most common topics which are repetitive, such as the War, environmental, politics?

I understand what blogs are, why people have them, but when the media has to go to BLOGS for opinions to USUALLY enforce the medias own opinions seems self-serving to me.

I just don't get why (except for the common man/woman's opinions and ideas) the media has enough information already to form their own stories. And generally speaking, blogs are like belly buttons (or other unmentionable body parts) everybody has one and they are opinions, sometime educated opinions, but still just a person's thoughts put to print.

I'm not belittling blogs (the ones here in the forum membership are really great and interesting - they follow the adventures of the beekeeper and are a great learning tool) but a political view on the war or "how well is the President doing" really doesn't seem news worthy to me SINCE you could find endless views leaning in any direction you choose. It just seems to be fodder used to reinforce a view already put forward by the "news" source.

I just can't understand why Bingo284's view on Katrina or Bush has any place in the nightly news - news (by its very definition) is not supposed to be opinion, just detail. To "go to the bloggers" seems awful generic to me - which blogger, why them, what is their agenda, are they credible or whack-jobs, etc?

I guess I'm missing something - Blogs are important to the people who write them and meaningful and helpful to those who follow - but I don't think they are NEWS.

I did a full year of blogging (I call it the 2001 beekeeping season) and it was fun - I still get compliments on the effort put into detailing my rather humdrum life in a way that many people found enjoyable and even humorous - but it wasn't news, nor was it meant to be.

I've never found a good way to display that season of writing, I think I'll add a 200x150 jpeg to it and make it a topic in my Beekeeping Course so it is found easier, but it is nostalgic to me now, and in hind-site, as much as I enjoy writing - it was a lot of work.

I just wonder why and when grabbing the blurbs from seemingly random bloggers (and generally they seem to be scatter about the net) seems like an unlikely news source - again, during a nightly news broadcast they seem like belly-buttons and elbows.

I think I'm missing something - the media must be going to these sources for some reason, maybe to create the illusion that the common man has a voice too - or again, just to reinforce the new sources opinion at the sake of someones humble or outspoken ideas.

Just curious what you have seen or noticed. I DO UNDERSTAND that if a new service opens up a poll and requests ideas on a topic - that is different. In that case they typically pick and choose entertaining blurbs that show various extreme sides of a topic, but scouting blogs (and there are millions of them to hunt through) and then state "Let's see what the bloggers are talking about" isn't news, it's barely entertaining - surely there must be a more credible way to obtain real world views.

I have not seen this of which you speak. But then I don't watch the news much..... I mean ummmmm..... I stopped paying attention to the media's point of view. But I guess them doing the blog thing would be a lot like getting sports players and coaches some face time..... They all seem to say the same thing. I guess if they don't pick many blogs randomly then it couldn't even be considered a poll.

The poll doesn't have my option of choice in it, so I will explain mine here.
The media uses some blogs as news material or aid.
You are right that blogs are like belly buttons. However some belly buttons belong to supermodels and I wouldn't mind having those belly buttons around.

The blogs basically gave people a place to voice their opinion.  Think of it as the world's largest soapbox.

Sometimes however out of thousands of opinions and story writers, some of them are actually pretty good. They have style, good information, and are interesting to read. Those usually become the popular blogs.

Some of them have a very bias side to them and don't hide it. The media tends to view blogs as something that has the pulse of the people. Much like using a poll to take a small sample to reflect a larger view.

The blogs were popular before the media started using them, the reason the media started using them was because the people would hear a report and then the blogs would either reinforce or flame the story. Also some of the blogs were written by industry insiders who have or work in the industry that was being discussed in the media. Politics as much as it is discussed and blogged about is also the easiest target.

The bloggers have one great strength going for them. They tend to bring light to news stories the mainstream media may not notice or choose not to report. If the bloggers make a topic of it that can force the media to do a story on it. That can be a double edge sword. If the media is seriously neglecting an important media issue it will be forced to bring it to light thus  giving the story to more people who may not have noticed it before and it's significance. The media can also be forced to bring up stories that it feels would and can be inflamatory, false, or badly bias and do the public a great disservice.

The bloggers also can help make news. The last two polical conventions received better and more interesting coverage from bloggers than from the mainstream media. Which is good considering that the party conventions are basically now a bore. Being at one is fun, watching it on TV and you want to claw your eyes out. The bloggers with words and a few pictures actually made it fun to be at one without being there. While the networks with all the camera and equipment made Home and Garden TV new hit show , Watch Paint Dry, seem exciting.

The bloggers have managed over time to garner a certain kind of respect. It may not be a professional media respect. The networks still are not fond of the bloggers, but they are a powerful force that now is a factor in the news. So if you can't beat em join em is the attitude.

Not all blogs are news or politics. Some are just basic diaries. They may or may not be a great read. Those stories can be written by people in the middle of interesting situations such as living in Iraq or being stuck in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Sometimes it is just an interesting incident and you have the ablity to relate the writers plight. The blogs are also filled with How To's and helpful tips for others who need the information. There are a lot recipes out there, darn. If you have a blog you like to read enjoy it. let the author know you like it. don't waste your time on those you don't.



We written and I agree that many Blogs have real merit from people with well thought-out or highly educated opinions.

My problem is, I never seem to catch quotes from these people of higher learning, insider knowledge or natural common sense - I always see the people who are either supportive of the moderators opinion (this is usually NOT DONE with the knowledge of the Blogger - media people just grab quotes which "better state" their opinions or some so ridiculous that (at best) it is used as comic-relief during the closing words of serious topics - segways that allow you to go from mass suicide killing 200 to albino kittens stuck in a tree - without having to express opinions from the media people themselves.

I am a pod-cast listener - I have rss and bookmarks on dozens, maybe even a hundred programs (often material I will never get to listen to before it is no longer relevant) so I stick to fictional material mostly and occasional non "time-sensitive" fact, whether it is humor, sci-fi, even liberal programming (just to see how the other half live) and often courtroom and murder mystery stuff.

This goes equally the same with my audio-book listening which is ALL detective, crime, courtroom, stuff. I enjoy audio-based entertainment NOT to be necessarily informed by SLANTED MEDIA but rather escapism which interestingly enough can also be slanted - just read the whole "Foundation" series if you want to see politics at its finest.

But as a professional new-service, I really don't feel fulfilled at the end of the day when sexymanna007 tells me that No president since Jimmy Carter has had love for the American People, and that the only difference between Bush and Clinton is that Clinton salutes better at the steps of Marine One.

I don't go to the Bloggers for the 6pm news, nor would I go to MSNBC, FOX or CNN to find out why Bowbow666 hasn't worked in 18 years.

The world indeed has become a tiny little planet where "we all HAVE bellybuttons", but the means to display them in all means from writing clear through to an X-Rated version is ridiculous. Having access to every-ones opinions is one thing and "I'm all for" that - but calling it NEWS does not serve the public, especially when opinions can be picked and chose from - not to mention edited and expanded until what we think monkeypoo911 (who gets a great wireless connection to his cardboard box from the Internet cafe down the street) has as much viable solution to world problems as the experts we place so much faith in. Of course Monkeypoo911 has never let us down - at least not as much as this cabinet has.

Last thought (since I'm all over the place anyways.) I think it is wrong that ANY PRESIDENT spends his 4-8 years in office CARVING what history will say about him instead of doing what is required TODAY. It is the people I need to work with and live among each day that worry me, not the ones that will be born in 12 generations and 300 years in history books. I don't care if this (or any president) has faith in God and asks God for guidance - I fear that the voices in our leader's head may not be the All-Mighty, just voices in his head. Ronald Reagan had that and we said he had Alzheimer's, this President want to shape and carve the end times so that God can come in and take off where he leaves off. Don't wish for Armageddon too soon, you just might get it, through the push of a few strategically placed buttons leading to a handful of NASTY WEAPONS pointed all over the Globe.

It scares me when a man makes it to the White-house and then we watch him chisel in stone the Dead-Sea Scrolls of the 21st Century, which will be found 800 hundred years from now in a great expedition somewhere on foreign soil - probably covered in oil and blood.

We see Mexican Illegal Immigrants marching the streets of this great country, burning the US Flag and telling us in Spanish that they belong here and will not leave. This isn't the way you petition to stay, you crawl on the ground or at least stand thankful, thanking God that such a country exists and you kiss the flag and be truthfully thankful you have lived here as long as you have. Not spit, crap and burn the flag.

Then condemn our country, its people, and again burn our flag, you should find yourself on the next bus to the border and promised to be shot if you attempt crossing again. Wanting to come here to become all that you can be and doing WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STAY is the least you should be required to do as an illegal - spit on our flag and refuse to ever learn English is the first and last disgrace you will preform against us.

I know I've covered about 5 topics, well... that's what us Bloggers do, maybe I'll be on The Oreilly Factor tonight - lol.

You bring up many great points. However I would hope you would end up on something better than The Oreilly Factor.  :D

The blogs can be a powerful factor. I keep a small diary on the website. It is amazing the effect it can have. A small issue with the Solid Waste Authority and code enforcement in my area wasn't getting much attention until I put it on my site all of the sudden the issues that had been neglected, were now getting attention. However attention doesn't mean resolution.

What I like are the blogs that bring up the details that the media doesn't. The fact that despite what FEMA was saying, not a lot was being done for the residence held up in shelters and other areas after Katrina.

I like the groklaw blog. It is a site run by a paralegal and one of the cases it has been covering has been SCO vs IBM. It has been showing how SCO has been deceiving it stockholders and clients for years. The case is interesting because it was suppose to be the first real test of the GPL. As the case progressed it was discovered that SCO was being funded by M$ through third party companies and that none of the claims SCO made had any basis. The media when the case first opened were praising the david vs Goliath mentality of small SCO vs huge IBM. The finanicial magazines were all throwing golden laurels at the feet of SCO and it's board. The stock shot through the roof.

Well there are some real GPL fanatics out there (they need prozac in large amounts in my opinion) who were saying the equivelint of "where's the beef?" No one really paid much attention to the fanatics. However when a paralegal started researching all the items released in discovery, it pretty much started to come to the emporer has no clothes. Futher research reveiled stock price scams that caused the company to get delisted.

The case is still in court. I am sure the judge would like to toss it out but can't yet. This will probably never make the mainstream media despite the fact that it has some far reaching implications.

This is an example of where a blog has been great.  I think I tend to be a fan of the well researched stories that don't make the mainstream. The coke bottle fiasco was another one. It should have received lots of attention but never did.

I remember the hearings that took place where the senator came in and shut off all the microphones. Unless you watch cspan or read the blogs you really didn't hear a lot about this but it was a great episode of politics.

So while the blogs are a powerful item, they don't always produce a finished product. I still have issues with the SWA, the sco vs ibm case is still pending and the media today is reporting how we may live to be 150 years old. I don't think I want to live that long.



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