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Blogs of war: The changing nature of news in the 21st century
Unformatted Document Text:  1 Blogging the Iraqi war: The changing nature of news Drawing on previous arguments that weblogs or blogs are a new form of journalism, this project more specifically assesses the ways in which blogs contribute to our understanding of new genres of news in the 21 st century (Lasica, 2002a, 2002b; Deuze, 2003). This paper considers these issues by examining blogs that were particularly active during the US war with Iraq in the spring of 2003. This is a critical moment in which to consider blogs because of the importance of news during wartime. The mainstream US media, as is historically its pattern during war, became less critical of the government and military actions and more prone to repeating propaganda both in the lead-up to and during the war (Knightly, 2004; Rampton & Strauber, 2003). This opened a space for other news providers ranging from foreign media such as the British press to bloggers, leading increasing numbers of Americans to turn to the Web for war news (Pew Center for Internet Studies, 2003). Indeed, the response from many current events blogs to the information demand which arose in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and continued as the US administration decided to invade Iraq led some observers to characterize the second war against that country the ‘first true Internet war’ (Alexander, 2004; Bell, 2003; Kurtz, 2003: para. 5). The overall research questions posed here were: How do these current events blogs focusing on the war with Iraq differ from traditional notions of what constitutes news? What do those differences tell us about changing nature of news in the 21 st century? The analysis suggests that these blogs represent a new genre of journalism – offering news that emphasizes personalization, audience participation in content creation

Authors: Wall, Melissa.
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1
Blogging the Iraqi war:
The changing nature of news
Drawing on previous arguments that weblogs or blogs are a new form of
journalism, this project more specifically assesses the ways in which blogs contribute to
our understanding of new genres of news in the 21
st
century (Lasica, 2002a, 2002b;
Deuze, 2003). This paper considers these issues by examining blogs that were
particularly active during the US war with Iraq in the spring of 2003. This is a critical
moment in which to consider blogs because of the importance of news during wartime.
The mainstream US media, as is historically its pattern during war, became less critical of
the government and military actions and more prone to repeating propaganda both in the
lead-up to and during the war (Knightly, 2004; Rampton & Strauber, 2003). This
opened a space for other news providers ranging from foreign media such as the British
press to bloggers, leading increasing numbers of Americans to turn to the Web for war
news (Pew Center for Internet Studies, 2003). Indeed, the response from many current
events blogs to the information demand which arose in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks and continued as the US administration decided to invade Iraq led some observers
to characterize the second war against that country the ‘first true Internet war’
(Alexander, 2004; Bell, 2003; Kurtz, 2003: para. 5).
The overall research questions posed here were: How do these current events
blogs focusing on the war with Iraq differ from traditional notions of what constitutes
news? What do those differences tell us about changing nature of news in the 21
st
century? The analysis suggests that these blogs represent a new genre of journalism –
offering news that emphasizes personalization, audience participation in content creation


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