"Our Very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people."
For the most part, bloggers are not qualified journalists. However, in recent years, blogging has gained a certain reputation as being a good source for information on everything from, recipes for homemade cat food, to the latest political intrigue. Sometimes the bloggers get it right, sometimes they don't, it is usually up to the reader to decide if the facts presented in any given entry, is accurate and factual, or if it is the unsubstantiated musing of a citizen journalist.
When I first began Ellipsis, I had no idea that I would eventually evolve in my entries, to include my personal opinions regarding current events. One day someone asked me what my political view was, and that opened a door for me to share how I felt about things. It was a nice freedom to be sure, but with that freedom came a responsibility, at least that is what I believed to be true. My word is important to me, so when I wrote an entry I tried my best to write with accuracy, integrity, and checking my facts not just once, but several times. I am not a professional journalist, I am a blogger, but the time and energy I put into what I write about means I have to give up something else in life, so doing it right means a lot to me.
I am thinking about all this because of an article I read today on AOL News which had originally been featured in the Wall Street Journal. The article deals with the influence blogging has over opinion on any given subject, but at times more specifically political issues. Sometimes all it takes is a story which may be true, to begin a blogging blitz of amateur OP-ED speculation. Personally speaking, anything that gets us to engage in an intelligent dialog is a good thing, unless we begin to play telephone with it. While politicians, celebrities, and the notorious may seem larger then life, in truth they have lives like all of us, and should be protected from irresponsible rumor mongers.
Having an amateur blog means that we can satisfy the need we all have, to take a stand on issues that mean a lot to us. I have been described as having a lot of passion regarding my political beliefs. That's true but it might be a nice way of saying, "Carly can certainly be overly opinionated about certain things." LOL. That's fair, it's not lost on me about how bull headed I can be, I have been known to dig my heels in when a subject comes up that has in some way touched my life. I don't however, feel the need to express every thought I have, the minute I have it, if at all. There are one or two subjects that I rarely speak about, because I feel too close to it...and it's hard to accurately express myself. I learned a long time ago that if I can't say what I want to with more clarity then emotion, then it's best to allow myself to process it through, within myself, until I can articulate it with honesty and clarity.
With all the scandal in the Bush administration, I would be thrilled to see a good bit of news come to light. Something along the lines of what was written in the Wall Street Journal article. It seems the online site,Truthout.org, ran a blog article breaking the news that Karl Rove had indeed been indicted last weekend by the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case, Patrick Fitzgerald. As of the writing of this entry, it doesn't appear that an indictment has been handed down, yet, but it does give one hope. Although for the time being, a bit of false hope. It's that potential that it won't become true at some future point which causes a lot of problems, for a lot of people. It degrades the integrity of citizen journalists in general, and makes us all sound like...well...misinformed nutjobs.
Opinion is fine, it should be encouraged. To share ones opinion with a friend means a lot,to share one's opinion on the Internet means bravery. All the tough subjects come with the possibility that if someone disagrees with your personal philosophy, they might REALLY disagree with you, and hurt feelings or even anger can be the end result, rather then two persons, sharing their opinions with passion. To present an opinion as fact, without anything to base it on, is irresponsible, and you won't be doing yourself any good by doing so. So why would an established web site write online articles which may be best described as wishful thinking, rather then honest jouralism? Couldn't the author of the apparently mistaken article simply have written an OP-ED article about how much he would like to see an indictment come to pass. Has blogging become the new tabloid medium? Share your thoughts with me.
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