You bet your life that they are
by Michael Smith
While, at least in say the USA, Canada, Britain and other such countries they try to pretend that they are not, and also pretend that they actually welcome the activities of the citizen journalist and Blogger, the truth is that they, that is the powers that be, are running scared.
The same is true with regards to the established media, the likes of what once was Fleet Street, though thy no longer “live” there, and its “professional” journalists. Hence also the fact that Bloggers are not, as yet, welcome to join the NUJ and the IUJ.
While many – by now nigh on all, in fact – newspapers and other media outlets have an online presence, often with Blogs, they still are in no way happy with Bloggers who run their own online publications.
Though it may be true that there are even some good commercial outfits out there that are just online and who have come, basically, out of the field of Blogging, and the Blogging community, such as Grist and especially the Huffington Post, most in the media are still stuck in the old way.. This, by the way, also goes for many of the PR companies, though not those that I deal with most of the time.
Italy recently, basically, went as far as, at least some judges did, declaring that all Italian operated Blogs and all Italian Bloggers as illegal, as under an obscure law from just after WWII only government licensed media are permitted.
So far the government of Italy has not taken any steps, as yet, but we hear a lot of clamoring from the EU and its member states about the need to police and regulate the activities of online social media and networks. This, to me, is proof enough that the powers that be are running rather scared of Bloggers.
Where is this going to lead?
We, who are Bloggers, who are citizen journalists, or freelance journalists running Blogs, and out readers too and especially must stand up against this blatant attempt of censorship.
Support the Net Freedom Foundation and in any other way possible stand up for a free Internet and for the freedom to run your own publications, whether online or in print.
Blogs are the greatest “upset” tot he established media and the establishment and are a revolution much like the invention of the Gutenberg printing press with the movable type in 1448.
In the same way that the Gutenberg press liberated Europe from the Dark Ages, basically, so does the Internet and Blogs and citizen journalists liberate the world, yet again. Problem, as far as the powers that be are concerned is that the Internet and Blogs and all the other ways of publishing and printing from home via PC is, upsetting the status quo and there control over the media.
The printing press provided a powerful demonstration of how new communications systems, when leveraged socially, can topple once unassailable empires of received truth. And this is where the “problem”, so to speak, lies as far as the powers that be and Blogs and Bloggers and citizen journalists per se are concerned.
Blogging, especially as a means to informing and of bringing forth discussion and such, as well as other social online media, it would appear, are seen by the powers that be as something that threatens them as just those very empires of “truths”, with the established media, in the main owned by members pf one very influential lobbying group, in the forefront of those that are running scared and that is why the governments, some overt some covert, try to curb the activities of Blogger and Blogs.
I mean we cannot possible allow to have people who think and analyze events and while doing so come to a different conclusion than the established media and then report such thoughts and analysis to a wide audience on the Web. This just cannot be allowed now, can it?
© M Smith (Veshengro), 2009