Blogging news stories as they unfold is a very exciting way that blog owners have discovered to make their blogs more attractive to their readers. One thing that makes the world of blogging so active is the fact that it is possible to update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs tends to be more current than the newspaper, magazines or even on television. Unlike news delivered by other media, news that appears on blogs is virtually instantaneous because it doesn’t have to go through a series of editors before it reaches the public eye. This has some great advantages, and some not so great disadvantages.
One of the most memorable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in 2005 when terror struck London and passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion. One man took several photos of the scene with his cell phone, and within an hour these images were online and being seen by people all over the world. The news of the catastrophe spread quickly with first person accounts appearing on blogs everywhere.
The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter helped to make the crisis feel very immediate to people across the globe. When it comes to blogging, news often appears in a very personal context. This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting new era of reporting, one that takes “New Journalism” to it’s logical next step by putting the power to shape how the news is written and read directly into the hands of the public.
Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the weblog movement feel that this growing trend of individuals who getting their news from blogs is a good thing, because it makes the flow of information more democratic. By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events. However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate. Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact-checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many blogs. This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation. Which can ultimately cause unintentional damage.