The thing about blogs is that they have the ability to tell the rest of the world things people have yet to know. For the most part, what we tell to the world are things that no one really bothers to know. Half the things on this blog for instance revolve around that baselessness. A testament to my expression of personal freedom that does little to benefit others except in terms of the vague wisdom of experience.
Yet other blogs have enough power to affect reality itself. While sensationalised and a little exaggerated, Engadget’s recent post about Apple indirectly caused a lot of people to lose their money in stocks. Incidentally a lot of people also gained a lot of money on the same move, but that’s just smart business sense and not the power of blogs. An example like that says a lot about what blogs can do these days.
Then again, Engadget is just one of the handful of blogs that are big enough to rival major media publications. While the debate is still on regarding the validity and objectivity of blogging compared to mainstream media, information is still information and cases like this show that blogs do pull some weight in the field, even if they tend to give a more personal view of the point compared to the traditional media.
Taking that into consideration. What happens when personal blogs start telling the world of events such as what this blog did here regarding a car accident? Telling people about the accident is one thing, but what about the pictures that were taken on site? People argue it’s unethical to post pictures such as what was posted there, out of respect towards the victims of the accident. People like me would argue that compared to the hundreds of vivid and disturbing imaged and videos of uncensored violent acts on the net, that post is pretty mild and doesn’t warrant the kind of negative attention isn’t been getting.
So if blogs have the potential to influence people, how much of a journalist should every blogger be? What kind of responsibility does a blog have when they bend traditional media and start writing down what they see as fact?
It’s easy to distance yourself from the rest of the world sitting behind the screen. It’s easy to forget that words have the power to influence and change or strengthen the opinion of others. For blogs that have taken that responsibility to tell the world the facts, they have no excuse to escape that prerogative. Yet for the rest of us who started off from expressing things that no one else would really bother to know, can we take up that responsibility as well? Do we even have the right to?
I leave the comments to your thoughts.