This infographic from http://blog.qmee.com/qmee-online-in-60-seconds/ confirms my suspicions about how difficult it is to become a credible blogger. With 571 websites created and 347 blogs written every minute, how can one stand out from the pack of opinions and resources to become trustworthy and build a fan base? Not only that, but how do serious bloggers get access to public figures and information while other writers with the exact same title simply make up facts and cost the credibility of bloggers in general?
This is why I find issue with allowing all internet writers the protection of journalists. Bloggers do not have editors and fact checkers to validate their information, and therefore should not always be taken seriously. Yes, some bloggers put in the time and effort to write in-depth stories about events and public officials, but even if they do get all their information right there is a slim chance that the topics of their stories will grant them the time for an interview, which I personally think is a necessity to any story. I understand that bloggers are credited with discovering many stories that the media has left unmentioned, but they also they have more room for error and uncertainty.
I think the solution to this would be if every blogger who wished to have an accredited page to go through an online SPJ course. After they complete the journalism course, they would be allowed to post on their page that they are SPJ approved. This will promote ethical blogs, and will separate the pranksters from the actual citizen journalists. This would also help public figures decipher which bloggers are trustworthy and which ones might be in it for other reasons. In
There is way too much information on the web to control content, and without an overarching set of standards I do not believe that blogging can progress past where it is today. Sure, some people look at blogs for their news, but when a breaking story happens, we turn to the corporate media like CNN and MSNBC to bring us the updates. A code of ethics that serious bloggers would adhere to would create a better environment for trust on all sides of writing a story. The sources would be more comfortable, the author would be protected, and the readers would know that they are getting accurate information.