Sunday, April 17, 2011

Practicum post 6: Meredith

I've looked a little bit at how the everyday citizen uses blogs to talk about politics and to mobilize their audience (or not). The other aspect of political activism on the internet I wanted to look at is how blogs are used for news about politics. To do this, I looked at two different news blogs. The first is www.nprblogs/itsallpolitics and the second is The news is just an audience with a percieved level of authority. As we learned in class, blogs and MSM are both subject to publishing false stories because of the desire for "all the time news." What I was looking for in these blogs was the ability to comment on stories and how often stories are being published. Both sites publish articles on a frequent basis. There is a political news story almost ever hour. The interesting thing is that the blog posts that are published each have a time tag of either the exact time it was published or how long ago the post was published. For example, CNN published an article 41 minutes ago.
Both CNN and NPR's blog gives its readers the ability to comment and participate with the news. Markos Moulitsas idea of what blogs and the internet are for is embodied in these two blogs. In his 2008 interview, Moulitsas say: "blogs as a force for democracy. The internet has facilitated out ability to share what we know and a change in how information is valued and disseminated." The news blogs allow their audiences to share what they know about the topic, which gives them the potential to change how information is valued and disseminated. These two blogs are evidence and great examples of "news as converstation" rather than "news as lecture." News as conversation is most definitely made possible through blogs.
Something interesting I wanted to comment about is the fact that these two news blogs don't just post writing. They post videos as well. NPR posted a video of Stephen Colbert not only as something funny, but also as something news worthy to help people understand the current discombobulated state of the nations finances. Blogs have the ability to use more than one type of media to tell a story or construct a point of view.
I would say that there is a collective intelligence aspect to both of these blogs. i say that because, again, of the commenting. The commenting not only gives the internet a "third space" of "public sphere" feel but people are debating and deliberating over issues and raising important questions to think about as well as brining in more information necessary for people to make decisions. These blogs are very much knowledge based communities.
Finally, I would say that these blogs are more ment for infromation than for political activism. Some people use the blog to get connected with others who I have observed then politically organize. For example, I looked back really really far into the CNN blog and found something about prop. 8. Someone posted a link to a website that was against prop 8 and from there you could join a group in the fight against prop 8. and make a donation to the cause. For the most part, I think that the news as an audience (at least CNN and NPR, I would not say the same about FOX) is meant to present political information that people can use to make decisions and less about actual organization and mobilization of political activists.
*If anyone wants to see the Colbert Video on NPR here's the link:

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