Over the past ten plus years, online media sources have grown in popularity. Once seen as a fringe for conspiracy theorists and radical nut jobs, blogs and other nontraditional media sources have become legitimate outlets for people, and have consistently broken stories the mainstream media has missed.
The first story I remember being broken by an online news source was the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky debacle, broken by Matt Drudge at The Drudge Report. After this, blogs and other news sites took on a whole new appearance.
Even while the main stream media tried to portray blogists as unprofessional and irresponsible, the continued to flourish.
Here’s why I think blogs are important:
1.) All News is Local…local blogs, message boards and news sites report stories that are of interest to people in a certain area. The mainstream media, be it print, television, or radio, simply doesn’t have the time or resources to cover every story possible.
2.) Opinions are like….well you know the rest. People like to be active in their communities, whether it’s their neighborhood, city, state, or country. Blogs, message boards, and other forums allow people to share their takes on views, and engage in civil (some of the time) debate.
3.) Anyone can do it…Go to WordPress or Blogger and start a blog. Even if it’s just your family and friends reading it, who cares. Writing can be a great release, and if you blog often enough, or about interesting topics, it won’t take long before people stumble on to your site. Before you know it, you have a following.
4.) The 1st Amendment is Wonderful…it means just how it sounds. As long as you’re using fact, you can have whatever opinion you want, and there’s nothing anyone can do, besides disagree.
5.) You can eventually make a living out of it…it might seem hard to believe, but there are thousands of websites that pay for submissions. It might only be $10 per story, but it’s a start.
I’ve only been blogging for about 2 weeks now, and I’m hooked. I use it as an outlet for my views. I’ve met some great people through blogs and message boards, and have had some great debates. The ability for anyone to go online and have a forum for their views, thoughts, and opinions is one of the great parts of living in America.
And who knows…one of you might break the next big scandal…keep digging, friends!