To quote one of my high school teachers, “Im an average guy.” I am not an expert at any field; I am a run of the mill college student striving for knowledge. Should the fact that I’m average dictate whether I am allowed to share my opinion on the Internet or not?
Author Andrew Keen believes amateur journalists are contributing too much objective content to the Internet that it is beginning to drown out the truth provided by professional journalists. The average people in Keens mind need gatekeepers to disseminate information of importance to them. Without these, we would get lost in a jungle of information not knowing what is true and what is false.
I agree to a certain extent, having a structured system helps get vital information out to us, but we all have the right to also voice our opinion. One of the main problems Keen has with people voicing their opinions in blogs is that he thinks that journalists have consequences for what they write where as bloggers can say what they like and cant lose their jobs. The truth is though this is beginning to change. Defamation lawsuits are on the rise on the Internet. Businesses can now bring lawsuits against people who post untrue reviews of them.
I believe that we need both sides, traditional media and open running conversations about what is going on in the world through blogs and podcasts. These can supplement each other; they don’t always need to be in competition. The Mumbai terrorist attacks proved this. Citizens were blogging and using Twitter to get information out about what was going on during the attacks. These, along with traditional media coverage painted a real picture of what was going on.
Everyone deserves to have his or her voice heard, and sometimes what people have to say is amazing. More often than not, it is objective and shallow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to state what they believe.
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