A blog is defined as an online website that contains personal reflections and comments, often involving hyperlinks from the writer. But blogs were around before the internet. One of the oldest and most traditional forms of journalism is the blog.
Blogs and bloggers date back to the birth of our nation. The roots of the blog can be traced back to the anonymous pamphlet writers that helped build the foundation of America in its rebellion against Britain. In his article, Are Bloggers Journalists? Let’s Ask Thomas Jefferson, Chris Daley discusses the pamphlets that were crucial to the rebellion. These pamphlets were cheap, provocative and influential. They filled a niche in the mainstream media that refused to report on controversial topics. Blogs continue to do this today.
Rodger Streitmatter’s inspiring book, Voices of the Revolution: The Dissident Press in America, chronicles the journalists who advocated for change in a mainstream society. These independent journalists, much like bloggers, filled a void in society when the media was silent.
We can learn some great lessons from the efforts of independent media. In his article, What Indy Media Heroes Can Teach Us, Jeff Cohen relays what we, as journalists, should strive for in independent media.
Don’t shy away from lost causes… Take advantage of mainstream silence… Take advantage of crisis… Take advantage of new technology… Defend press and media reform… Activate your base…
Perhaps the most important lesson that can be learned, however, is to stay stubbornly independent. If independent journalists and bloggers had fallen silent to mainstream media, the social progress and reformation of our country would not exist.