In today’s Web-driven arena of information, print journalism seems to be a fading name in the game. The advent of blogging has undeniably shaken the foundations of traditional media by introducing new sources of information. It has challenged the radio scene with its podcast; the television with its vlog (video log); and of course, the newspaper with its blog (web log). The internet has indeed drawn a new line of media, and consequently, a new line of contention between blogging and the old.
As the speed of technological advancement accelerates, with thousands of eager people signing up each day for their own accounts, credibility, for many, has become the hottest issue in blogging. Since the internet has afforded everyone the opportunity to create their own blogs, in websites like Blogger and WordPress, most of the information posted in one’s blog are unverified, and therefore, unreliable.
A typical personal blog is maintained by an individual (hence, personal), and articles are mostly done single-handedly-from making the draft, gathering of information, and up to editing and online publishing. The blogger stands as the writer, editor, copyreader, and publisher all at the same time. Yet the power of blogs to publish at an unimaginable velocity has amazed mankind, but it has unconsciously compromised the credibility of every article published.
On the other hand, newspapers are managed by a pool of professional and seasoned writers. Articles normally undergo a series of rigorous editing before making it to publication-information and details are double-checked for accuracy; sources should be valid and reliable; grammatical flaws are fixed and all statements are balanced. These things are standard procedures followed by almost all newspaper companies for them to produce a credible and fair issue.
HAZARDS OF ANONYMITY
From a legal viewpoint, blogging is devoid of any constitutional protection and rights because it’s difficult to determine how the law might actually apply. Print media’s position in the Constitution, on the other hand, is quite well-placed.
A blogger housemaid could hide behind a screen name and defame the president by accusing him of corruption without the fear of facing legal charges. Since the Constitution doesn’t enshrine blogging, there is no specific statute that would prove it unlawful. Thus, bloggers have all the freedom of speech in the world, and in their own wills and capacities, they can abuse, overuse, and misuse it anytime, while writers get sued, and even killed, for what they write, and just for ‘doing their jobs.’
THE PAST OF PRINT MEDIA AND THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING
Books have time and again shown us how newspapers made its mark in history.
During the Spanish rule, for instance, La Solidaridad and Kalayaan publications, both owned and managed by Filipino propagandists, had succeeded to spread their persistent clamor for change and further their dissidence among Filipinos despite perils of castigation by despotic Spaniard perpetrators.
Likewise, dictator Ferdinand Marcos had faced media’s potent function in stirring up mass rebellion, thus, he ordered the immediate closure of all mass media under the Martial Law. Yet, the alternative press, including the Philippine Collegian and a few other national dailies, lived up to their promise and did not fail the masses; they had gone underground and had operated in stealth to avoid detractors.
It is in this lucidity that we see the clear future of the blogosphere. Its power is unquestionable, but blogging should always remain as a personal tool for there is no possible way it can possess journalistic elements such as accountability, reliability, and fairness.
Truly, the ascending popularity of blogging could never completely shatter the fortified fortress that journalism has built for decades. Despite constant claims on its ethical decadence, the old media have proven its age-old worth. And always, it will find a way to uphold its cause. Over the course of history, the press-the traditional print journalism-has always justified its existence, and no blogging force could seriously change that.