Is Blogging Affecting Journalism?

Posted on January 18, 2010 in Sci-Tech, Society

Menorca Chaturvedi

From being the Politician’s platform, to the Celebrity’s status symbol, to your very own online diary, the Blogosphere has been widening its horizon, over the past few years. Recently, the blog count in India crossed the 1 Million mark. According to the findings of Blogging India: A Windows Live Report, “India’s blogosphere is driven by youth and a passion for self improvement and entertainment with 42% of online users reading blogs to stay informed about world events, 49% citing entertainment as the main reason they read blogs, and blogs written by business leaders ranking as the most interesting.”

With all the hype around it , why has Blogging become such a rage amongst the youth? A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. On being surveyed, it has been seen that a major fragment of the online users enjoy reading blogs related to Technology, News, and Education. Blogs written by Business leaders and politicians, too, seem to have a large number of followers.

Due to the ease of use and the ‘Really Simple Syndication’ (RSS), readers now have an option to subscribe to a particular Blogger, or , to a particular section of the e-news. As such, blogging has changed the face of journalism, giving power in the hands of readers to become today’s journalists, thus creating a powerful publishing concept.

Chris Mooney, the 2005 winner of the Scientific American’s Science and Technology Web Award, refers to bloggers as “Socrates on speed”, and to the blogs, as an “online marketplace for ideas”. This network of ideas is growing by the minute, and has crossed the 30 million mark, worldwide.

Providing new ideas, stories, follow-up option on other stories, and people’s opinions, the Blogosphere is an immensely huge source of information for the journalists. Most magazines and news papers too, operate their Blogs, targetting a much wider global population, breaking all the barriers of physical boundaries. Getting to know their readers’ interests , via established forums, and building communities, has given them an opportunity to strengthen the bonds with them.

Blogging has been the revolution in mass communication. Being less expensive than the Print media, blogs provide the readers with a huger platform for interactions, also letting them contribute in making stories. However, relevant and reliable information are the key notes to the growth of the blog.

The study carried out via the Windows Live Report found that in India, almost 90% of bloggers spend up to 5 hours per week reading blogs or updating their own blogs. This reveals the impact of the social network activity on Internet usage patterns .

“As we are seeing with the internet in general in India, more people are spending time online at the expense of traditional media. As user created content and community services such as blogging really begin to take off they will drive more time online. Advertisers will have to consider making the Internet a part of their integrated marketing mix as this is where they will find an increasing number of customers”, says Jaspreet Bindra, Country Manager, MSN and Windows Live, India.