Blogs as Current Phenomenon and Benefits to the Community

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake did not cost Japan its ranking as the10th most populous country worldwide in 2010 (Infoplease, n. d.). Blogosphere, with an estimated population of 133 million as of 2008 (Blogging hits Mainstream, Integral to Media Ecosystem 2008, 2008), is the blame. A kingdom of people which discusses every aspect of life, Blogosphere has altered the landscape of communication by bestowing the powers of production to us – the once passive information consumers (Gillmor, 2003). In democratic countries like America, this power means millions of blogs on daily philosophical life tales (Franklin, 2011).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to popular assumption, countries with restricted freedom of expression see minimal political blogging. Of the 30,000 Malaysian blogs in 2008, only hundreds are politically inclined (Smeltzer, 2008). This is similar in United Arab Emirates (Beckerman, 2007). Bloggers who challenge authorities directly are usually arrested in such countries. Prominent examples are Raja Petra from Malaysia (Walker, 2008), Abdel Karim Sulaiman Amer (Beckerman, 2007) and Maikel Nabil (BBC, 2011) from the Middle East, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiao Bao (Reuters, 2011) from China.

While political bloggers are important in revolutionizing against restricted freedom of speech, blogs on ‘candid observations of life’ – prevalent in such regions – are the ones that transform the world (Drezner & Farrell, 2004). Bloggers in wartime Iraq expose unreported perspectives of war (Franklin, 2011), often contradicting those of mainstream media, and hence exposing hegemony in mainstream media. During political upheavals, it is the bloggers whom the reporters refer to (Farrell & Drezner, 2005) because of the bloggers’ direct involvement in such upheavals. Through mere reflection of daily events, these bloggers reconstruct an unbiased journalism which tells the world that the fundamental human right – freedom of expression – is far from a settled fact. This is hence, the most important blogging trend.


 

REFERENCES

1. BBC 2011, ‘Egypt blogger Maikel Nabil jailed by military court’, April 11, viewed 19 August 2011,            <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13038937>

2.  Beckerman, G., 2007, ‘The new Arab conversation’, Columbia Journalism Review, vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 16 – 23, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://web.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au>

3. Blogging hits Mainstream, Integral to Media Ecosystem 2008, Technorati, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://www.marketingcharts.com/interactive/blogging-hits-mainstream-integral-to-media-ecosystem-6256/>

4. Drezner, D. W. & Farrell, H., 2004, ‘Web of influence’, Foreign Policy, no. 145, pp. 32 – 40, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.taylors.edu.my/stable/pdfplus/4152942.pdf>

5. Farrell, H. & Drezner, D. W., 2005, ‘The power and politics of blogs’, Public Choice, vol. 134, iss. ½, pp. 15 – 30, viewed 21 August 2011, <http://web.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au>

6. Franklin, S., 2011, ‘Sunrise on the Nile’, Columbia Journalism Review, vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 17, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://web.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au>

7.  Gillmor, D., 2003, ‘Moving towards participatory journalism’, Nieman Reports, vol. 57, iss. 3, pp. 79 – 80, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://content.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au>

8.  Reuters, 2011, ‘China arrests blogger Ran Yunfei’, Guardian March 28, viewed 20 August 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/28/china-arrests-blogger-ran-yunfei>

 9. Smeltzer, S. C., 2008, ‘Blogging in Malaysia: hope for a new democratic technology?’ Journal of International Communication, vol. 14, pp. 28 – 45, viewed 21 August 2011, <http://www.cprsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/drupal/Sandra_Smeltzer.pdf>

10. Walker, R., 2008, “Malaysia blogger arrested after posting anti-government comments’, Guardian September 12, viewed 20 august 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/12/malaysia.pressandpublishing

11. World’s 50 Most Populous Countries 2010, n. d., Infoplease, viewed 20 August 2011,     <http://www.infoplease.com/world/statistics/most-populous-countries.html>

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