Are bloggers Changing the Dynamic of How News is Consumed Around the World?
As a blogger / Web developer full time, I am in a unique position to answer the first question of whether or not blogs potentially change the dynamics of media coverage within the context of a system of media coverage dominated by a few large companies. I can tell you first hand, that yes they do. I would point directly to sites such as wikileaks and infowars as such examples of how the myriad of the different blogs landscape can disrupt the entire media coverage circle. In early 2003 wikileaks released classified documents and videos obtained from an inside source within the military, detailing the real face of the war in Iraq. The footage of killing innocent civilians and the subsequent paperwork which backed this up, was absolutely contrary to what the mainstream media was proposing as what was going on over there. Our general view of the war in Iraq from our mass media is that our soldiers are constantly under attack by what they call insurgents. Which if you ask an Iraqi what an insurgent it, it Is simply a person or group of people whom are local, and tired of being occupied by a foreign power who is indoctrinating their way of life to be more western, which is the last thing they want. How is life going to be improved if everyone can drink Coca Cola and smoke Marlboro cigarettes over there? The picture painted by the mass media coverage is that these insurgents are terrorists who simply want to kill as many soldiers as they can. What you don’t see is that those same insurgents are the fathers and mothers and children of deceased relatives whom have had missiles dropped on their house accidently, or been killed in fire fights with the Americans over a perceived threat that was not there. Having a blog / organization such as wikileaks release the files which the government did not want the public to see, really through a rod into the wheel of propaganda being foisted onto us every time we turn on the TV.
There is another side of this blogging epidemic and that is the bad bloggers. Who are simply there to literally throw disinformation or false information up onto their sites as eye catching content, in order to procure more visits to their website, and ultimately obtain more money from their traffic. This is the negative side to blogging, because ANYONE can be a blogger. This is why great precaution needs to be taken before you read an article posted on an obscure blog which seems to match what you believe in already. This standard of blogging is not new; it has been going on for years. All you need to start a website is an email address; you can change your name to whatever you want to without being questioned. These types of blogs make up the vast majority of blogs out there, making it very difficult to sift through the b.s. that is out there, and find the good meat and potato articles which you can trust the author and his sources.
Seeing this question from both sides is imperative to making the overall judgment that yes, in some ways bloggers can be considered culture jammers. In respect to those who are doing a great service to our people by disseminating viewpoints that you would never hear elsewhere. So in that respect, they are culture re-jammers. Now on the opposite end, as stated above we can clearly see the culture jammers in the sense of they will just throw any old crap information together, and as long as it is readable and legible, it will be considered by some to be the latest word of the news regarding the subject. This is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society and must be followed closely in the coming years.