A really interesting article by J.D. Lasica titled “Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere” picks up on some of my fairly inarticulate ramblings from yesterday. The idea that I’m struggling with is how we can introduce both the reading and writing of blogs into the curriculum as a tool for students to sort through and reflect upon the increasingly complex issues that confront our world. Can bloggers and blogging collectively give a more honest and truthful account of issues than mainstream media? Here’s what Jeff Jarvis says in the article:
“We are witnessing the growth of a culture of transparency,” he says. “Bloggers are more trusted, I think, because they are human and too often news organizations are not. Bloggers tell you who they are (usually) and what their backgrounds and biases are and their readers can judge them and engage with them on a personal level. News organizations are big and often monolithic and are reluctant to admit let alone share perspective or agendas.”
If true, the implications for teaching are huge (as well as journalism, obviously.) Especially if David Sifry of Technorati is correct when he says:
“People trust The New York Times and Washington Post and link to them,” Sifry says, “but there are a huge number of people who are going outside the bounds of traditional media to these new media forms to get their information and, more importantly, to participate in the discussions around news and topics.”
I’ve lobbied for an intensive media/info literacy course for all at my school, and I just feel more and more of an urgency for this. We need kids to participate in these conversations. We need them to know more and manage more information. We need to model this participation. Using blogs is one thing, but reading and really blogging is where the true benefits of this come in.