Explain with some real life examples how blogs have influenced journalism in the recent years.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Arguably blogs have influenced journalism in the recent years by moving journalists away from purists to humanists. The modern journalist is no longer responsible to only broadcast information with impartiality and respect; these days blogging has given them an additional tool to express their own views of the world away from the newsroom. 

Judging from the way in which famous, stone-faced anchormen were seen during the early days of radio news, and early television newscasts, never would have anyone predicted seeing an anchorman, who is respected as the High Priests of objectivity, also perceived as regular people.

The best example is "the most trusted man in America", the quite enigmatic Walter Cronkite. A man whose flawless style of journalism earned him the trust of a nation, Cronkite was respected to the point of viewing him as a separate force from the rest of the world. He was Cronkite the journalist and anchorman. There was no other way to reach Cronkite's mind, opinion, or psyche: all that anyone ever saw was the man in the newscast.

Now, compare the way that people perceived Cronkite to the way in which modern viewers see another trusted and respected anchorman, Anderson Cooper. Since Cooper has expressed his views through blogging, he has become humanized to his viewers, making him look exactly as what he is: a typical, American man. In fact, when Cooper announced through an email to a friend which he made public that he was gay, he may have earned more viewers since he opened up yet another dimension of his character with utmost respect to the sensitivities of others.

This is a phenomenology unique to the Web 2.0 generation. We are able to actually separate a man man from his job.We are able to put together the fact that the journalist who is responsibly telling us the doings of Conservatives and Liberals with the same amount of respect is also able to blog about his likes, his sexuality, or his personal preferences. Blogging has brought journalism to real-time.

Another way in which blogs have influenced is in speed. "The News" became old news once they reached the newsrooms. "Breaking News" were the only way to broadcast to the audience any new information of vital importance. This meant having to disrupt the normal dynamics of television at any given time to give information to the public.

Blogging has saved the day in this aspect because, by attaching a blog to a newschannel website, the news can be fed immediately to the public. This is why microblogging such as Twitter has become so popular: because by simply applying a hashtag (#) to a topic you can see in real time every single thing that is going on second by second. Therefore, blogs have made journalism more productive, more realistic, and faster than it has ever been.

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