Not only did today’s paper make it seem as if no one at WTAX was providing storm coverage over the airwaves during the storm. They also forgot to mention the many regional bloggers that were doing their best to provide there own coverage. Of course the local paper made a big deal about their “storm blog”. Which I applaud the coverage. But I have to ask was it as helpful as some of the more non traditional media offerings? Actually let me put it this way. Was there any other blogger or traditional media resource that was providing links to agency websites that could provide help and information? Granted this wouldn’t be of much help to those that had no power – thus they would have no online access. Yet shouldn’t one of the main goals of any media outlet be to inform readers on where they can go to get help? Especially at the exact time the crisis is taking place? Isn’t it also wise to provide other sources for reading in regards to the situation? Would it have been that hard for a seasoned reporter to have a quick look at local or regional blogs to see if they were providing coverage of the storm? There were in fact several of us that were trying our best to give accounts of what was occurring.
This is yet another prime example of how blogs are only seen as a good resource for information when it suits the traditional medias agenda. While most bloggers aren’t professionally trained. Or even trained writers. The stories and information provided within what is written by them is valid and worthwhile in many cases. It’s rather interesting how the traditional media was quick to take the blog name as their own. But wasn’t willing to give even slight credit to those of us who do this every day. Many of us were trying our best to make this new technology tool useful during every ones time of need. Many of us were trying to share information in real time when we could. Yet as far as I’ve seen none of us have been given any credit for that effort.
This brings up something I’ve thought about in the past. And really got to thinking about yesterday. Keep in mind this has been brought up in the past by many others. Should online journalist / bloggers be allowed to apply for press credentials? I know that most traditional media outlets are strictly against this for many reasons. But why should independent news sources be excluded? Just because they may have less training than college taught writers? Because a non traditional reporters views aren’t as important as traditional media? In my opinion it has been shown over the past few years that bloggers get the facts right more than they are given credit for. It has also been shown that we are willing to work in conjunction with traditional media outlets. We have also seen where bloggers get the scoop before many of the more well known sources of news and information. So you have to question. Should online media be excluded just because we don’t have a printing press or a transmitter to express our views? Are we not going to consider something like podcasting a form of online radio that can in fact provide news and information to communities? Should those of us who have shown that we take our responsibility seriously not be given the chance to have the same status as traditional media? Have bloggers and podcasters not shown their worth as valuable media outlets? I’m not saying everyone who opens a blog should be given a press pass. What I am saying is isn’t it time that maybe an organization or some community standard is setup. For those of us who wish to apply for this right? Maybe this already exist in some way shape or form that I’m unaware of. But I would highly doubt at this time a local government agency is going to give press access to a blogger or podcaster. I’d venture to bet that many in those agencies aren’t even aware of this form of online news and information.
While I’d have to give credit to the State Journal Register for covering regional blogs in the past. I personally feel that the paper and TV news media dropped the ball in not giving local and regional bloggers credit for their efforts during this storm that turned into a disaster.
Then again I bet there are many HAM Radio operators out there that are wondering when they may be given the credit they deserve. Many people tend to forget that these people can be the only source of communication to those who can help or to finding loved ones in major tragedies like the one that came upon our community recently.
Springfield IL region hit by tornado(s) – Iggy Uncensored
Micro Persuasion Most Bloggers Are Not Reporters