Blogs, News, and the Facts: Weblog and Wikis, Week 3

Some have compared the genre of blogs to that of “news.” This is understandable because the content is technically “news” to someone somewhere. With the current state of affairs regarding “fake news,” it would be in our best interest not too loosely refer to blogs in general as news. News is information based on fact generally about current events and is nonfiction. Blogs do not need to be fact based and can be fiction or nonfiction.

With that said, a weblog could easily resemble the format of a newspaper with categories like Feature News, Editorial, Opinion, Sports, Classified, Entertainment, and Photography. For more examples and details of the Parts of a Newspaper see this SlideShare. With creative license left up to the beholder, a weblog can be fake or real. It can be written as a piece of creative text that forces a new perspective on candid issues using a realistic fiction format or it can bring to light critical societal questions using a journalistic format with support evidence. In either case, the weblog may look and function like a place to go for “news” and/or “entertainment.”

This is where the audience (reader) has the responsibility of understanding what they are reading and determining what is the author’s purpose? Is the weblog: informative, persuasive, or for pure entertainment?  Once this question has been answered, the audience must establish creditability of the blog and determine if the information is supported by fact-based data or evidence. More directly – Is the weblog written in a fiction or nonfiction format?

The ultimate question becomes – Should the author or blogger of a weblog clearly label content, so readers understand author intent and purpose?

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