Moblogs Seen as a Crystal Ball for a New Era in Online Journalism

But futurist Howard Rheingold says the ultimate democratization of the media will not be about technological advances; rather, it will entail upholding old-fashioned standards to earn viewers’ trust.

The USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review asked Rheingold to pull together his thoughts on moblogging and how it will change journalism: Does the nascent moblogging movement mean journalism will eventually become more democratized, or is moblogging a fad destined to only ever be chic among a geeky minority?

Will the next Tiananmen Square uprising, the next shuttle crash or Rodney King beating be broadcast from thousands of citizen reporters’ phones? Will average citizens eventually be part of the media machine, regularly contributing to and creating their own news reports, instead of just consuming them?

Read Rheingold’s replies and views here >>



  1. I think of the blogging thing as a bit of a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it produced more diverse perspectives, including some points of view that aren’t represented in the mainstream media, which is good.

    On the other hand, it’s also important to remember that the contents of blogs aren’t fact-checked, aren’t peer-reviewed, and so there is a need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    So that’s my view on it. Maybe I should set up a blog about whether blogging is good or bad for journalism?

    1. Hi,

      That really sounds a good idea… but sticking with your logic, what would be the veracity of the views expressed therein ­čśë


      1. It’s just a vicious cycle. ­čÖé

        1. aah! You said it right.



          1. I think in general I rely on blogs for comment rather than news. I wouldn’t be inclined to trust something that appeared unsourced on a blog. Most of the news I read on blogs is stuff that is referenced elsewhere from a more established media source.

            There are a few exceptions, however. I enjoy flicking through the pantheon of Iraqi bloggers to get an on-the-ground view of what’s going on in Iraq. Also, my current favourite blog is Random Acts of Reality, a paramedic giving his tales of life driving an ambulance in London.

            But of course, I only have their word for it that they genuinely are Iraqis or paramedics or whatever. One only has to look at the spate of gossip in the media over whether Belle de Jour is or is not a real prostitute.

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