Blogs threaten free speech: Missouri Newspaper

Filed as News on July 25, 2005 11:34 pm

by Duncan

In one of the most bizarre attacks on blogs and blogging from the mainstream media this year, the Missouri Valley Times Newspaper has suggested that blogs pose a threat to free speech in the United States.

The editorial in the paper states:

“Many mainstreamers slip up and find themselves doing the kind of “journalism” bloggers practice with such ease. It gets them in real trouble (witness the fall of Rather, one of the finest journalists of the past 30 years) and is a real danger to the continued protection afforded by the First Amendment, our real freedom of the press. And, freedom of the press, remember, is actually freedom for all of us to speak and write unshackled by government interference.”


But not content in stating alone that blogging is the end of freedom of speech as we know it, the Editorial pleads to readers to ignore blogs as a valid source of news based solely on the basis that MSM is somehow more honest and truthful:

“Please, young folks, do not believe everything you read-especially if it is in a blog. Hold your favorite writer to a standard of truth you’d expect from us.”…

but it gets better. Don’t laugh too loudly:

“The trouble is, among the Internet crowd, i.e. the demographic we mainstreamers have the most trouble reaching (18 to 49), blogs are accepted at face value, widely read and the so-called information they spew spread as fact, whether fact, indeed, really exists. That presents a tremendous challenge for real journalists everywhere, whether they be of the television, daily newspaper, or weekly paper variety. When readers no longer care about facts or the simple truth, but crave the sensationalistic screeds jamming the web, our job becomes tougher.”

They just don’t get it do they! Bloggers do care about facts, its that we just don’t believe that the MSM provides facts. The difference between bloggers and the MSM is that we admit to bias, MSM pretends that its not biased went it actually is, and in that regard bloggers beat so-called “real journalists” hands down on the basis of honesty.

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  1. By Cellounge Admin (Shane) posted on July 26, 2005 at 12:28 am
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    Is this article for real, to me blogging means that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are alive and well. I predict that blogging may open up the doors for more free thought, even in countries like China. People are always scared at what they don’t understand. Something tells me that this article in the Missouri Valley Times Newspaper was written just to get people talking like us.

  2. By John (SYNTAGMA) posted on July 26, 2005 at 4:31 am
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    Freedom is always great until it steps on someone’s toes, and then that same freedom becomes “a threat to free speech”. The fact is that some people don’t like freedom unless it goes their way. We all get a little fed up sometimes ~ like the trackback porn I’m getting on my blog right now ~ but the alternative doesn’t really bear thinking about.

  3. By John posted on July 26, 2005 at 9:55 am
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    The one valid point they seem to make is I don’t believe there has yet been a libel case against a blogger. When that happens…it will give some bloggers pause. Most do treat facts with the same care as journalists from major newspapers, but others treat them with the same respect as the Weekly World News.

  4. By John Mudd posted on July 26, 2005 at 12:45 pm
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    I have an article coming out in REALTOR Magazine in September. It’s an article they asked me to write. Stuff like that, and bloggers getting book deals, make some newspapers a bit wary of us. But some newspapers appreciate us because we give them story ideas to further pursue, and we do it without calling them or spamming them, which they like.

    Sounds to me like the Missouri Valley Times needs someone to help them reach a certain demographic they’d like to reach, but have not been successful in reaching. Hey guys, ever think of hiring a blogger?

    Just a thought. Cheers.

  5. By J. Clifford posted on July 26, 2005 at 9:43 pm
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    Brilliant twists of pseudologic in this one! So according to this writer, the freedom of speech expressed by bloggers threatens the freedom of the press used by newspapers, but somehow that freedom of the press is for everybody, not just newspapers, although when people who don’t work for newspapers actually use that freedom, it’s very very bad.

    Ah, I see it now. We bloggers should all just be quiet again and let the newspapers have freedom of speech and press for us. Right.

    They’re forgetting the proud history of Thomas Paine, America’s first blogger. Didn’t write in a newspaper, that guy, did he?

  6. fff » Blog Archive » Por que bloga?July 29, 2005 at 12:55 pm
  7. By Robert Eggleton posted on August 11, 2005 at 1:42 am
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    Interesting topic and comments. I’ve written an essay I’m trying to get published in a science fiction magazine entitled:

    “I met god in cyberspace

    or

    the self-promotional adventures of an aspiring author — fre speech and the internet”

    It is a satiracal essay about my experiences promoting my first novel, “Rarity from the Hollow” (please see: http://www.fatcatpress.com) on the internet.

    Whle I agree with each comment above, interactive web sites, such as blogs, forums, chat room, etc., are far from guilt-free with respect to protection of the First Amendment. There is a wide diversity of censorship and infringement within the internet community — some practices are offensive. I wanted to provide an additional view on topic. Thanks.

    Robert Eggleton