All Hail the Power of Blog!

It's pretty undisputed that bloggers have become a powerful group. Of course they are not one interest group, but rather a network that is able to instantly rally others to certain causes and quickly disseminate information, educate, or call for action. This story out of China is an illustrative case.

Earlier this month a bystander in Tianmen was beaten to death while using a cell phone to take a picture of an argument between government officials and villagers over the dumping of garbage near the village. The villagers were against it, shockingly!!!. Soon after the beating death occurred bloggers in China began to call for justice and the enforcement of the law. The bloggers took the deceased man in as one of their own, calling him a citizen journalist. The government essentially relented, or at least decided to act, and within days arrests were made and an investigation is now well underway.

Other examples of the power of the blog come from Jena, LA and Burma. In Jena a small group of African-American bloggers kept track of what was going on and acted as the catalyst to get the story into the mainstream media. In Burma, a small group of Burmese (and other) bloggers were able to sneak images and video out of the tightly controlled nation to expose the government imposed beatings and oppression of Buddhist monks and citizens calling for democracy.

Still, many journalists mock the work of bloggers. It is a constant topic on blogs concerned with media and politics. Bloggers are so plentiful that they are easily able to keep track of newsworthy events but also act as citizen watchdog groups on the media, in the consumer world, and far beyond. Bloggers are able to both out maneuver regular journalists and make sure the regular journalists aren't bullshitting their viewers at the same time.

Just this morning I was watching a cable "news" show that used "blogger" in a derogatory manner when referring to a reporter. The host of the show expressed his disbelief at an Associated Press reporters behavior towards Presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a news conference by saying something to the effect of "I thought he was a blogger at first but it turns out he works for the AP". (By the way you should check out this Romney v. Reporter video, it really exposes Romney for the little weasel he is.)

Point is, read this blog more and we'll help you save the world and tell you what's bullshit and what isn't. Because we have power.

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