daliah_singer (daliah_singer) wrote in online_journ,

Niche Journalism ("We the Media 3 & 5)

In "We the Media," Dan Gillmor wrote, "The issues of our times are too complex, too nuanced, for the major media to cover properly, given the economic realities of modern corporate journalism" (103).
With 40 pages of reading behind me, that was the line that jumped out at me.
Because it's so true.
We are living in a time when bloggers are exposing politicians, big businesses and even regular individuals for wrongdoings or unethical behavior. They are even analyzing Big Media for mistakes and bias.
Bloggers are of course only one aspect of the idea of personal journalism, but they are a big chunk of it.
The reason Gillmor's above statement had such an impact on me is that I often feel lost when reading breaking stories. For instance, the current issues with the economy and the (as of right now) denial of a $700 billion bailout make sense to me in a general regard, but I don't really understand the entire issue because there isn't room in a news story or a brief broadcast for all the nuances and background information that provide necessary context.
While keeping up with the news is important, especially since I want to be a journalist, it can be extremely difficult because when I don't understand a major issue, I sometimes tune out instead of researching information.
As a result, the topic-specific blogs that are emerging, what Gillmor calls niche journalism, are fantastic. While I certainly need to spend time finding these blogs and seeing which ones are reliable, the concept in and of itself is an improvement on traditional journalism. Particularly during an election year in the country and in the state, it is important to feel competent in a number of issues in order to have a reliable base on which to base your vote on.
Niche journalism can help create a more informed public. The major problem that I see, however, is that the public has to want to be informed, want to search for that information, if the concept is going to effective.
Otherwise, it's just more words and information added to a world already suffering from sensory/information overload.
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