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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Let me Hear You

I was walking through the park today when I overheard this piece of a conversation:

"Journalists . . . suddenly it's okay for them to spout off their opinions as
long as its on their blog. And what does that say . . ."
Instantly, the man's critical tone and the negative air of "spout off" irritated me. I wanted to stop him and ask "What does that say about what?". I will concede a common ground with the man: journalists should strive for objectivity. But, a degree in journalism doesn't make one inhuman. We all have opinions, we have beliefs, we have perspectives, we have unique insights. For a man in a field (journalism) founded upon the the notion of offering "a voice to the voiceless," his comment is a little shocking. He seems to be suggesting an unwritten caveat, that voiceless is more select than we might have thought.

Blogging, to me, counters that. Newspapers, news shows, and internet news sites are inarguably key to the functioning of our society. But, in reality they don't, they can't, offer a voice to all the voiceless.

Enter blogging.

Even from the variety of blogs of my classmates (see my blogroll) it is evident that each of us has our own unique interests and thoughts -- and with that, our own unique voice, even voices. This is the attraction of blogging -- it has a voice. Something audible comes from the written word. We read blogs, good blogs, make us hear and feel the speaker. The blog has a life breathed into it by it's author. And, addictively we flock back to good blogs because we feel them, we hear them. They make us feel like we are in conversation, like we know the author.

Journalism, for the most part (exceptions being editorials, op-eds...), doesn't really offer this. It offers valuable information. But we don't hear the author when we read it. And, we don't read it to hear the author; we read for information. The same is often true about papers we write for classes: we focus on information over voice.

Blogging is personal, though. Toby at Diva Marketing notes:
"Sometimes when I come across a new blog, I click on very first post and read a
few of the beginning writings. Then I'll skip back up to the current level. It
helps give me a sense of the person." (through We Blog)

Blogging expresses our unique identities, our voices. In answer to the man's question "What does that say?", it says this: It says we are all human. It says we are unique. It says we grow and change.

Crossposted at Look to the Sky

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