Political blogs have for some time now been a controversial topic that has to be addressed. A political blog is a blog that specifically focuses and provides comments that have political orientation. The political blogs give the bloggers an opportunity to publically air their personal views without the high risks and restrictions that the media houses face. In addition, the blogs give the people and bloggers the chance to critically assess their media. The political blogs have undeniably had an impact on the political worlds that is both on the voters in addition to the political influential’s (Iyengar, 1991, p. 23).
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News is the main area where people rely on to receive information concerning the political icons of the country. However, the citizens have not been receiving satisfactorily from this component of media. As Lance Bennet writes in News, The Politics of Illusion “Diverse voices and viewpoints aimed at reducing the gap that ordinary people often feel separating them from the politicians and political insiders who dominate news content (Bennett 2005, p.31).” Nevertheless, this objective would soon be achieved with the coming of the internet where people will be able to post different views through web pages that can be accessed by other individuals without so much fuss. Unfortunately, this expectation was not achieved because the large numbers of people who surf the net for political news tend to focus on only the common and few web sites that they are used to surfing. Current study shows that the expected expansion in a variety of information from the net has not been achieved as a result of this select websites, however, the introduction of the political blogs is yet to bring a change in the results of this research.
One of the significant advantages that blogs present is the fact that, through the political blogs, the American citizens are able to have access to the most up to date news broadcasts at very cheap and affordable rates. This is enhanced by the fact that the news are obtained from wide number of resources and the information obtained is thus from an extensive assortment of sources (Bennet, 2005, p. 24).
Another benefit that arises from the political blogs is that the people can obtain information easily because the political blogs are easily accessible and to top it all out the blogs are not complicated therefore making them easy to use for the people who have the minimum information about computers. When this advantages that are brought about by political blogs are coalesced, they provide enough evidence and reason as to why the political blogs have become common so fast. As democracy spells out the political blogs are beyond doubt by the people and for the people whether they bring good news or bad news (Carpini, Michael and Williams, 2001, p.65).
An advantage that bloggers enjoy by doing political blogs is the fact that they enjoy being anonymous which is not true. Due to the fact that they believe in the anonymity, they are as a result free to address the political debates that they want to approach without the inconvenience and inhibitions that they would have had had they the slightest idea that they are not in real sense anonymous. Consequently, the bloggers have no “inhibition” when airing their opinions on sensitive political matters on the political blogs. As a result, the bloggers enjoy the privileges of having “town hall” fashion conferences that are held online without the unwanted inconveniences of having to choose where these “town hall” meetings will be situated or having to agree on the specific time the meeting will be held because blogging can be done at any time as desired by the individual bloggers (Bennet, 2005, p. 24).
The research paper that follows intends to investigate on the credibility of political blogs as a source of information. There have been arguments that have been raised on the possible authenticity of information posed and obtained on and from political blogs. Debates have been issued to accuse the blogs as slander and sometimes they are said to commit libel (Mutz, 1998, p. 83).
Information posted by bloggers on the political blogs are most of the times credible. Credibility of political blogs simply means the degree of trustworthiness and reliability that can be attributed to the information posted on political blogs. As a matter fact, the blogs provide a good communication point that should be the form of a liberal democratic state or country where the citizens are legally allowed to view and criticize the government without the legal ramifications that are commonly associated with such critics. If in fact, the government advocates for a liberal democratic system then political blogs should be supported as a healthy political biasness, which has in the end forms an honest opinion of the citizens on the political system of the state (Iyengar, 1991, p. 23).
As far as blogging goes, the foremost difference presented between blog cites and the traditional journalism is that blogs are complex sets of connections and trends that essentially depend on hyperlinks. Consequently, some blogs do not rely entirely on hyperlinks because there are several others that consist of more than just a catalog of hyperlinks. Other forms of blogs consist of more than hyperlinks and they may comprise of extended clarifications and comments. Blogs do not act on their own but they connect to the systems of information that include other blogs. The entire universe created by this blogs is referred to as the “blogosphere” (Taber, Lodge, and Glathar, 2001, p.43).
Recent research has keenly focused on the impact that these political blogs have had on the media houses. The research has also focused on the impacts of these blogs to positively and negatively affect the perception that people have towards politics. In addition to this, it is essential to investigate the relations that transpire between individuals along by way of the political blogs and their views on the credibility of these blogs. It is important to find the degree of credibility that these blog users associate with the information they post or obtain from these political blogs (Balkin, 2003, par 13).
A close examination conducted for the political blogosphere reveals that many bloggers concentrate around a few blogs where they retrieve their information. As written by (Chadwick 2006) “even though there are over a million bloggers, posting approximately 275,000 new items daily, the median blogger has almost no political influence as measured by traffic or hyperlinks”. Research conducted continues to show that even though the bloggers read a few selected blogs, the blogs usually vary in their contents and that they do not usually contain the same information, as is the trend with the traditional journalism. This therefore gives a reason as to why the political blogs should be supported. For the reason that, besides the information that people can obtain from the traditional media news, they can add on their knowledge of the political proceedings of the state by blogging and reading the political blogs.
Because political blogs are becoming quite common, it becomes a necessity to study to important features that crop out of the use of blogs. The first feature is the credibility of the sources from which the bloggers obtain the data that they present in the political blogs. It consequently imperative to focus on the credibility of this information since the bloggers post this information day in day out. To emphasize on the fact that political blogs are credible, most people are driven by certain desires and needs before they visit these sites. Research conducted shows that different things that drive people into looking for information motivate people to look for clarifications on the information that they already have so it is highly unlikely that the people would stumble on information that is not credible. The credibility of political blogs play a major determining factor in finding out what the true impact the political blogs are likely to have on the political opinions of the citizens. It is quite expected that those political blogs that lack credibility should have no impact on the power to determine the path the political issues should follow (Carpini, Michael and Williams, 2001, p.65).
It therefore becomes important for a study such as this to determine the credibility of the information posted by the bloggers because the political blogs are becoming more and more common. According to this research paper, (Drezner, 2004, par.14) it is highly evident that the information posted by this bloggers is credible. This is due to the fact that the media houses are themselves using this blogs search for articles that they want to present to the media it is highly unlikely that this data is not truthful. This can be evidenced by the fact that the news written by the media that have been collected from the blogs have rarely and even most probably have never resulted to controversial issues that indicate to the incredibility of these sources. In fact, the political blogs at one time resulted to valuable information that resulted to the scandal, which caused U.S senate leader who had the most followers to be drawn out of office after certain comments that he made which were later emphasized by certain bloggers. The bloggers drew the attention of the media and the story was focused which led to the political down fall of Trent Lott (Drezner, 2004, par. 14)
There are varied studies that have been conducted to address the issues raised by political blogs. From this research, (Mutz, 1998, p.83)various questions arise from this research concerning the political blogs. The first question that presents itself from the research is the task played by the credibility of a political blog on the blogger’s alternative to read the blog and the possible impact it is likely to rest upon the reader. Consequently, several questions look for answers in order to ascertain the authenticity of the allegations that bogs have an overwhelming impact on the political realms of a country. The research questions include; what is the main difference between information gained from the traditional media sources and the political blogs? Considering that blogs offer anonymity, how could their credibility be established? Does blog partisanship influence the credibility of a blog source? , are readers seeking to find credibility in the blogs despite their partisanship towards a particular blog? These questions intend to establish whether bloggers would be inclined to rely on a certain blog despite the presence of other blogs that would have more credible political information. Consequently, they will establish the reason why readers would have their opinions influenced more by blogs and not other sources of information (Mutz, 1998, p. 83)
The research mentioned above was conducted by survey. During the survey, the overall number of [participants that were involved in the research consisted of one hundred and eighty five individuals. The survey method was online survey method and the participants were given extra credit for taking part in the research. The research was carried out to find out the category of political blogs that most individuals viewed as credible and what they viewed as non-credible. It also tried to understand the reason of their inclination to blogs as compared to other sources of information (Mutz, 1998, p. 85).
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After the research was conducted, the following conclusions were arrived at; the bloggers will choose the credible blog as compared to the non-credible blog if given the opportunity to choose between the two. Those bloggers who will be exposed to credible blogs are greatly influenced when compared to those bloggers who are exposed to the non-credible blogs. When the bloggers are given a choices between the blogs they are attached they are likely to choose them even when presented with two options which include the blogs of identical or different political affiliations. The bloggers are highly likely to choose partisan blogs when presented with a choice credible blogs or partisan blogs (Mutz, 1998, p. 87).
From the research that was carried out in this research paper, various questions can be raised. Are the political blogs created by bloggers reliable sources of credible information that can be used by the media? What should be used to establish the credibility of a blog? Are the political data written by the bloggers credible? Is there difference between the credibility of traditional media political news and the political blogs credibility?
From this research essay, it can be agreed that there is much research that should be carried out to determine the credibility of the political blogs. Political blogs however form a very important aspect from which the citizens of a country can be able to voice their concerns towards the government if they are made legal. Therefore, the bloggers will not have the inhibitions to air matters that they consider critical and that would bring change to the state or country if changes were brought about. From the research, it can be concluded that there are more positive impacts of the political blogs as compared to the negatives that are presented by the political blogs even without considering the credibility of the sources because most blogs are credible.
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Bennet, L. (2005). News, The Politics of Illusion. Sixth Edition. New York: Pearson Education Inc.
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Chadwick, A. (2006). Internet Politics. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
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Drezner, D. Is civility an endangered species in the blogosphere? 2010. Web.
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Taber, C., Lodge, M. and Glathar, J. (2001). Citizens and Politics: Perspectives from Political Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.