Institutionalizing the blogosphere

24 09 2008

In The Routines of Blogging *, Wilson Lowrey and John Latta examine production routines of sociopolitical bloggers in the U.S. and find striking similarities (as well as differences) with sourcing, specialization and standardization practices of professional journalists. Apparently, “the more relevant bloggers become in terms of audience and influence, the more their production routines resemble those of political journalists” (editor’s note, Paterson & Domingo 2008: 185).

The institutional gap between professional journalism and citizen/civic/grassroots journalism narrowed even more today as the Media Bloggers Association (MBA) announced the launch of “a comprehensive program to provide bloggers access to the same sort of legal and financial resources long available to traditional media organizations.” This includes an insurance scheme, a course in media law and legal advice.

MBA is currently a “U.S.-centric organization” but hopes to eventually become an international organization. Such worldwide blog consortium would lend the term media convergence a whole new meaning. And in an ironic twist of fate, such a move would propel the blogosphere into an institutional space previously only inhabited by journalism.

* A previous version of Lowrey & Latta’s paper can be accessed on allacademic.com.

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One response

28 09 2008
discousology

Interesting. Does that mean that these socio-political journalists are becoming distanced from their roots as ‘cititzen’s media’? Considering that Zvi Reich in a recent article in Journalism Studies argues that citizen’s media tend to use fundamentally different practices, esp. their use of sources. Is this narrowing gap necessatily positive? Yet more centralised sourcing. More power to the elite.
Reich, Z. (2008). How Citizens Create News Stories. Journalism Studies 9(5), 739-758.

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