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Blogs of war: The changing nature of news in the 21st century
Unformatted Document Text:  16 section in order to read this update, it still provides readers with an opportunity to participate in the production of content. Although it has been previously reported that mainstream media reporters are often not responsive to these citizen forums (Schultz, 2000), these blog exchanges may well change the very structure of what we consider to be a news item. Lt. Smash writes to his readers, ‘thanks for all your kind messages’ and then includes an excerpt from a message sent in by a reader on his center column that ‘made my eyes tear up’ (Lt. Smash, 2003: para. 4, 5). On Back to Iraq 2.0, the site owner introduces himself on the front page of the site to visitors: ‘Hi there! . . . This summer I went stumbling around Iraqi Kurdistan, the northern part of Iraq outside Saddam's direct control, looking for stories. (Some might call it "looking for trouble.") Well, now I want to go back in time for the war. So I'm asking your help supporting independent journalism! Send me back to Iraq to report on what's happening. (Please click here for more details.) Click on the PayPal icon below to donate.’ Certainly this fits with predictions of future communication patterns that emphasize consumers will participate in creating what they consume (Rheingold, 2002). That is, readers of these blogs are contributing to the blog’s content and even perhaps to the blog’s credibility as an information outlet through their own participation, ultimately helping creating its meaning, exposing the often hidden nature of consumption as an act of production (de Certeau, 1984). Here, this works on two levels: The bloggers have turned consumption of mainstream news into a production of a new news product, while the audiences for the blogs also participate in content construction and meaning production by participating in the comments section. In some cases, these were quite large; for example, Daily Kos received 1,754 comments over a 4-day period, although in other cases, no one responded to a blogger’s post.

Authors: Wall, Melissa.
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section in order to read this update, it still provides readers with an opportunity to
participate in the production of content.
Although it has been previously reported that mainstream media reporters are
often not responsive to these citizen forums (Schultz, 2000), these blog exchanges may
well change the very structure of what we consider to be a news item. Lt. Smash writes
to his readers, ‘thanks for all your kind messages’ and then includes an excerpt from a
message sent in by a reader on his center column that ‘made my eyes tear up’ (Lt. Smash,
2003: para. 4, 5). On Back to Iraq 2.0, the site owner introduces himself on the front page
of the site to visitors:
‘Hi there! . . . This summer I went stumbling around Iraqi Kurdistan, the northern
part of Iraq outside Saddam's direct control, looking for stories. (Some might call
it "looking for trouble.") Well, now I want to go back in time for the war. So I'm
asking your help supporting independent journalism! Send me back to Iraq to
report on what's happening. (Please click here for more details.) Click on the
PayPal icon below to donate.
Certainly this fits with predictions of future communication patterns that emphasize
consumers will participate in creating what they consume (Rheingold, 2002). That is,
readers of these blogs are contributing to the blog’s content and even perhaps to the
blog’s credibility as an information outlet through their own participation, ultimately
helping creating its meaning, exposing the often hidden nature of consumption as an act
of production (de Certeau, 1984). Here, this works on two levels: The bloggers have
turned consumption of mainstream news into a production of a new news product, while
the audiences for the blogs also participate in content construction and meaning
production by participating in the comments section. In some cases, these were quite
large; for example, Daily Kos received 1,754 comments over a 4-day period, although in
other cases, no one responded to a blogger’s post.


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