Is blogging good for American journalism?

“Blogs are bad for journalism, plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong. That is not to say that an online journal or perezhilton.com are bad, per se. They’re fun. I’m talking about the blogs that people depend on for news. They’re just not a credible source of information.”

Blogs are bad for journalism, plain and simple.

Don’t get me wrong. That is not to say that an online journal or perezhilton.com are bad, per se. They’re fun.

I’m talking about the blogs that people depend on for news. They’re just not a credible source of information.

I am a firm supporter of free speech, of course. I am also an ardent advocate of the free exchange of ideas.

But when John Q. Public can start a blog and then use it to expound on politics and current events, problems can arise.

After all, John Q. doesn’t adhere to pesky things like journalism ethics or codes of conduct.

Laugh if you want, but the overwhelming majority of journalists take their work very seriously. Things like credibility, accuracy and honesty are vital. Sure, every now and then we come across a journalist who has violated the public’s trust.

That shapes perceptions and, bam, everyone thinks the media are comprised of left-wing zealots who conspire to force their agendas down everyone’s throats. That’s simply not true.

It’s not true because that is not what journalism – or journalists – are about.

Blogs, though, don’t play by rules. Bloggers can write anything they please and their audience is at their mercy.

Cloaking themselves in the first amendment does not protect them, either. It only provides a safety net for irresponsibility and unprofessionalism.