As blogging becomes more and more mainstream, bloggers seem offended to be treated with such equalization. Recently, the TSA subpoenaed several bloggers over a leaked directive to increase security after the failed attack on a U.S. bound Airliner. It’s been reported that after several hours with travel blogger Steve Frischling, he gave up his laptop thus revealing his source.
The problem with this isn’t a demand for a source, this activity happens every day to even the most high profile journalist, and some end up in jail on contempt charges until they either give up their source or some agreement can be reached, but it further proves that bloggers are amateurs in the realm of journalism, and passion over news stories they break run shallow.
Everyday blogging isn’t going to run you into this sort of trouble unless you intend on being controversial and or news reporting and breaking. Protecting your source is paramount and you should be prepared to protect them at all cost in order to protect the flow of information and potential whistle blowers, otherwise you demean any credibility the blogging community has obtained, in fact, the blogging community would unite and stand behind them.
Which leads me to the information leaked, and where do we as bloggers draw the line. Personally, I’m not interested in anything that could potentially harm or interfere with national security, nor do I believe it has a place in the latest 15 minute news cycle until it’s cleared by the proper authorities, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support this bloggers right to run the story- hell, the New York Times ran stories around the secret CIA camps around the world, but at least they were in communication with the Whitehouse and State Department in advance of the story, even though they had no intention of sitting on the story.
From our perspective, if you don’t have the balls to shield your source and lose everything in the process, then don’t play journalist- sit in your barcalounger and armchair quarterback something else, something easy, like knitting.
The era of the ‘weblog’ is dead to most, most blogs just simply aren’t daily journals anymore, they’ve evolved from what we’re doing today, to what’s going on all over the world in most cases, what saddens me is that it’s mostly bloggers who don’t see the evolution nor respect it.