Blogs are becoming a new journalistic medium. And to state the obvious, nationally, some blogs have become very powerful.
Last week, when the Newburyport Daily News called to do their story on blogs, what came to my mind was Bill Moyers’ interview with national blogger, Josh Marshall, who broke the Alberto Gonzales story. (Please press here if you would like to read a transcript of that interview.)
I know I’ve said this before, and a similar quote was in the story by Steven Tait in yesterday’s Newburyport Daily News, but I really like Ed Cameron’s and Bruce Menin’s blogs. And the more I think about it, the more that I think that the blog medium would be a pretty amazing way for voters to get to know their candidates. And help them make an informed decision on how they would like to vote.
(All the Newburyport candidates’ blogs and websites for the election, November 6, 2007, that I know of, are listed at the side of the Newburyport Blog. If I do not know about a candidate’s blog or website, please let me know, and I will list it on the Newburyport Blog ASAP.)
And I am fascinated to see how national blogs, as well local blogs would evolve.
And since there are a variety of blogs popping up, what I have learned in the last almost 2 years of blogging, is that all bloggers, candidates or otherwise, need to be really careful.
Bloggers are considered “publishers” and have all the responsibilities of the New York Times, but in most cases, they do not have the resources, legal and otherwise of the New York Times. (See “Publishing” category in the “Issues” section on the side of the Newburyport Blog.) Especially as blogging becomes more prevalent and more mainstream and blogs become more of a challenge, in any number of ways.
To have blogger, Josh Marshall, break the Alberto Gonzales story, with all the political ramifications that have taken place as a result, is huge. And many folks, including major media folks and politicians, check out Josh Marshall’s blog “Talking Points Memo”, the first thing in the morning, or the last thing at night.
This is a big difference in the blogosphere, even from just a year ago.
So, bloggers out there, give yourself a crash course on the legal issues about blogging.
There is a lot of stuff on legal issues now for bloggers on the World Wide Web. And the legal issues are constantly changing as the blogging medium evolves.
And bloggers out there in Blog Land (including me!), please blog with knowledge and with care.