Sunday, December 27, 2009

Are Bloggers a Part of the Press?

When the United States Constitution was written, one of the most important amendments to George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, was the first amendment. George Washington was a deep believer in freedom of speech, religious freedom, and a defender of freedom of the press, even though he was subjected to vicious attacks from newspapers that represented both sides of the political spectrum at the time.

Over two hundred years later, freedom of the press is no longer reserved to the few, as Modern America has thousands of newspapers, radio stations, television stations, and websites on the Internet which provide reporting, news coverage, and numerous opinions. With the old media starting to crumble, not because of lack of interest or hatred for newspapers, but because of rampant bias against the overwhelming ideology of the American people, a new media is arising, with fresh questions regarding the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances - First amendment to the United States Constitution.

This "new media" would be the establishment of blogging as a reliable media source, without a doubt bloggers are expressing their first amendment right to free speech, but at what point if ever does a blogger expand to being a member of the press. Considering the blogosphere for the most part is pure opinion, absent of objective reporting, and at times reliant on larger sources of news for content, most members of the blogosphere can not be considered apart of the press.

However, not all members of the political blogosphere are pure opinionists, non-objective, or reliant on larger sources for their content. A small, yet ever growing fraction of the political blogosphere is becoming more reliable than the old media, which has been well documented through 2009, as the Conservative blogosphere was reporting the stories the Main Stream Media would not.

Not to mention, more bloggers are traveling to cover headline news, leaving their pajamas at home, and wearing a fine pressed suit on location. As members of the political blogosphere are no longer reliant or content to be reliant on the old media, leaving them no choice but to report the facts from the ground, the political blogosphere is becoming more reliable than the old media, reporting what the viewers want to hear - the truth, something the old media has neglected for a long time.

We can conclude that bloggers are using their first amendment right to freedom of speech, but when are bloggers using their first amendment right to freedom of the press? That is a question I cannot answer, but if I were to guess, I believe when bloggers are beginning to become self reliant, traveling to where the news is, and reporting with exceptional skills the stories the Main Stream Media has not heard about, than a blogger is apart of the press.

One thing is for sure, though the political blogosphere is gaining more power in the establishment of ideas, the political blogosphere is no longer for basement dwelling unemployed slackers, it is the new media, with a new brand of journalism. Journalism based on the facts, something the "journalists" forget a long time ago.

Also, even though I have interviewed three congressional candidates (Matthew Avitabile interviewed the Vice-President candidate of the Constitution Party), been linked twice from the blogosphere giant that is Insta Pundit, and exhibit professionalism like none other, I am not and will not call myself a member of the press.

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