Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Are We the Media?

A few blogs back I wrote about how Twitter and Facebook were so instrumental in how people got their information about whether or not the Jets were coming back. Someone left a comment on that blog post that simply said "we are the media" and nothing more. I had to really sit back and think about what he was saying and for a second even thought that he was sarcastically making fun of me. Eventually I realized that in four short words he had basically said what took me over 400 words.

I believe there will always be a distinction between those who are "in the media" and those who are not. Every day, people take courses at College or University to  get specific credentials to get media jobs and when many of us watch the news we often see media people as sort of pseudo celebrities who are somehow slightly above us regular folks.

What blogging has taught me is that the distinction between a blogger and a media person from a mainstream media source still exists. Brian Stelter is a prime example of this. For years Stelter ran a very successful blog but I still had a hint more respect for him when I heard he was working for the New York Times. Many reports about him being hired by the NYT, said that he had “moved up to the New York Times.” In a way this is assuming that going from an independent blog to a mainstream news publication is taking a step up.

This is merely my personal opinion but I still believe there is a different attitude towards what a media professional is and what a blogger is. There are excellent blogs out there with lots of followers and there are people who get famous from their blogs. However, starting a blog is as easy as singing up on a blog site and getting started which means that the number of blogs out there is astronomical. For every blog that catches some attention, there are countless ones that don’t.


It also seems like the competition for bloggers to get attention is so great, that bloggers sometimes sink to new lows to get attention. A great example of this is This blog allows users to say awful and hateful things about people they know and also publish unflattering pictures. Some of the stuff written on this site is so hateful towards people, and I’m sure a few lives have been shattered by this site. With that being said, the site has made its owner Nik Richie a millionaire and he gets paid thousands to do appearances at clubs,  Whether it's ethical or not, it is one of the most popular websites in the world. I am not saying that this is a prime example of what a blogger is, but it does give the idea of blogging a bit of a bad name.   

So when we compare bloggers and mainstream media publication, the question is “are we the media? or “are they the media? There is no direct answer. We are definitely alot more of the media than we were ten years ago, but it seems like mainstream media has weathered the storm of 2009 when It seemed like the whole medium was doomed. It has survived and seems to be adapting and my personal opinion is that mainstream media is still what many of us consider to be "the media."