Saturday, June 04, 2005

Is Blogging Essentially Negative? If So, Can That Be Changed?

Nearly finished reading Hugh Hewitt's little book, Blog, I've been wondering about what the most prominent pracititoners of this new technology really want to do with it. Early on, Hewitt cites four incidents in which bloggers played a pivotal role in bringing down media or political stars. In other words, blogging's greatest fame thus far has come from playing a negative role--and, many would say, constructive--role.

Now, there's interesting BBC coverage of the part played by bloggers in the no votes on the European Constitution in both the Netherlands and France:
The French newspaper dubbed Marseille law teacher Etienne Chouard "Don Quichotte du non".

Mr Chouard did not much care for the EU Constitution, but instead of simply voicing his upset to his neighbours, he wrote an essay and set up a blog to explain why he was voting 'Non'.

Just ahead of the vote, his blog was getting 25,000 hits a day and his anti-constitution broadside had been photocopied, faxed and blogged about across France.

Despite overwhelming support for the constitution by the governments of both France and the Netherlands and a huge media campaign by political leaders in both countries, voters have rejected the constitution.

And just as the media and political establishment in the US found during last year's presidential election, European elites have now felt the sting of these online upstarts, the bloggers.
Frankly, this bothers me a bit. There are of course, times when it's appropriate to say, "No." But I hope that the blogging world can be a place where we say, "Yes."

It seems to me that the primary biases of the mainstream media aren't political in nature. Rather, their biggest bias is against reporting on anything other than the bad, the ugly, and the dishonest. "If it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead," is still a mantra in many newsrooms.

I'm not an advocate of Pollyannish reporting. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that that without God's reconstruction of our characters, I think that we human beings are inclined to do selfish, hurtful things.

But in a world with so much negative stuff going on, the real news may be the positive, helpful, caring, sincerely-motivated things that people do day-in, day-out. Maybe we bloggers could take it as one of our roles to showcase that!

I'd rather be known as Mister Yes than Monsieur Non, even when I'm opposed to something.

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