Im reading this book called Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig for a class Im taking about business strategies in media firms. The book is basically a 300-page argument for amending copyright laws. Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, there was one passage that struck me as both a journalist and a blogger.
I should point out the books copyright was in 2003.
Blog space gives amateurs a way to enter the debate amateur not in the sense of inexperienced, but in the sense of an Olympic athlete, meaning not paid by anyone to give their reports. It allows for a much broader range of input into a story, as reporting on the Columbia disaster revealed, when hundreds from across the southwest United States turned to the Internet to retell what they had seen.
And it drives readers to read across the range of accounts and triangulate, as (Dave) Winer puts it, the truth. Blogs, Winer says, are communicating directly with our constituency, and the middle man is out of it with all the benefits, and costs, that might entail.
Winer is optimistic about the future of journalism infected with blogs. Its going to become an essential skill, Winer predicts, for public figures and increasingly for private figures as well.
Its not clear that journalism is happy about this some journalists have been told to curtail their blogging. But it is clear that we are still in transition. A lot of what we are doing now is warm-up exercises, Winer told me.
There is a lot that must mature before this space has its mature effect. And as the inclusion of content in this space is the least infringing use of the Internet (meaning infringing on copyright), Winer said, we will be the last thing that gets shut down.