The term “blogs” is a shortened form of "web logs." The casual term is used because the medium tends to be less formal than traditional sources of news and information. There are several different types of blogs from those of the personal diary type to those intended to offer the public more information, or more accurate information, than that made available by typical news outlets. Professional journalists and businesses also use certain types of blogs as well.
The diary types of blogs were how blogs got their start. This casual, stream of consciousness writing detailing various aspects of one’s life has become to the Internet what reality shows are to television. Many people enjoy taking a peek into someone else’s life.
The “new media” is a term used to describe certain types of blogs that expose inaccurate or dishonest reporting as well as inadvertent omissions by mainstream media sources. In the United States, Little Green Footballs is a good example. The owner, Charles Johnson, is credited with exposing the scandal now referred to as “Rathergate,” which used documents that were shown to be forged in an attempt to discredit President Bush regarding his military service.
Johnson also exposed photographer Adnan Hajj, who was contracted by Reuters, after blatantly altered photos were submitted published by this photographer during the Lebanon-Israeli conflict. LGF and other types of blogs were quick to investigate other photographs by Hajj, exposing many that appear to be dubious and intentionally altered to make things look worse. Reuters later removed nearly 1,000 photographs and no longer accepts work by Hajj.
There are also those types of blogs that are politically motivated and attempt to offer a conservative voice, believing that many mainstream media sources show a liberal bias. There are left-leaning blogs as well. The authors of these web logs are able to give information to the public without sugar coating, without being especially objective, and without worrying about politically correct niceties. In other cases, there are types of blogs may not be partisan at all but simply want to offer the public other options for obtaining news.
While many types of blogs are often frowned upon or seen as unprofessional by many members of mainstream media outlets, there are in fact some reporters who also write blogs. Instead of being limited by column space, they can link to a blog in a story, and readers can visit that page for more details. A journalist can also offer his or her perspective, or add his or her opinion in a blog, which is not professional conduct in an actual report.