There are a few articles circulating in the mass media this morning dealing with various forms of blog strife. CNN‘s got an article about bloggers who have been fired from jobs over the content posted on their blogs, and the New York Times is reporting on a lawsuit that Apple has filed against bloggers who leaked new product announcements:
If the court, in Santa Clara County, rules that bloggers are
journalists, the privilege of keeping news sources confidential will be
applied to a large new group of people,…
So it would seem that the blogs as journalism debate is coming to a head in the court system. This’ll be interesting to follow.
I also noticed a real difference in the way the two articles define blogs. The CNN article calls blogs "Web journals," whereas the Times article describes bloggers as "a scrappy legion of online commentators and pundits." In each case, the technology is being defined by its use, rather than by a neutral definition that focuses on shared qualities (like the widely accepted definition proposed by Rebecca Blood). In this case it may just be a by-product of the slant that the journalists were taking in writing their articles, but it’s something that I’ve noticed in research literature as well – the tendency to (narrowly?) define blogs by a particular use. Blogs are many things to many people (i.e. they are embedded in countless ways in various practices) and I’m certainly interested in looking at specific uses… but I’m also leery of losing the broader perspective as well – the fact that the blog technology has been adpated in so many ways – which is interesting in its own right.