Is Blogging Useful or a Waste of Time?

Crucial for Spreading Accurate Information

We’ve all seen it.

A story that bloggers have bird-dogged for many months, gaining so much traction that the mainstream media is finally forced to cover it.

David Steele – former 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says that blogging is crucial for saving our country.

Dan Rather points out that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations. As I wrote in July:

This fact has been documented for years, as shown by the following must-see charts prepared by:

This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:

The mainstream media are rabidly pro-war and refuse to disclose that many of the “independent” pundits they interview are actually lobbyists. The mainstream press has become lazy, and most of the stories are fed to them by PR firms.

People want change – that’s why so many voted for Obama. But as Newsweek’s Evan Thomas admitted:

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring….

“If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am). . . .”

In other words, many editors, publishers, producers and reporters think of themselves as being part of the establishment class, and so do everything they can to protect those in power.

No wonder trust in the news media is crumbling.

On the other hand, as I wrote a year ago, it is possible to get direct-from-source news on the web:

Many of the world’s top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs…

The same is true in every other field: politics, science, history, international relations, etc.

So what is “news”? What the largest newspapers choose to cover? Or what various leading experts are saying – and oftentimes heatedly debating one against the other?

And as award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill said recently:

I think we’re in a moment where corporations are more dominant over newsgathering and news production and disseminating information than they’ve ever been.

Contrary to that, though, you also have this sort of “citizen journalism” rising up, where you have people that are staring their own blogs or their own web sites.

So the blogosphere is certainly vital.

A Waste of Time

On the other hand, even with all of the millions of bloggers exposing what’s going on, the powers-that-be are ignoring us.

Even with high-level economics and financial experts demonstrating that the economy cannot recover until the big banks are broken up, the government is letting them get bigger and bigger. For example, an all-star cast of well-known experts says that we must break up the big banks, with people like Simon Johnson blogging about this daily for one of the world’s most popular news sites (Huffington Post). And yet nothing is changing.

Even with top security experts showing that the never-ending “war on terror” is harming our national security, and that covering up for the torturers and war criminals is making us less safe, the Obama administration is continuing the never-ending war, and has swept torture and war crimes under the rug.

I could go on and on, but if you’ve been paying any attention, you know that our country is headed in the wrong direction, no matter how many thoughtful writers point out the direction we should be headed.

Moreover, the blogsphere is not a “free market” of ideas. Whistleblowers and many of the hardest-hitting blog posts get attacked or buried by the powers-that-be. Because of this censorship, there may be a highly educated minority of millions of Americans, but the majority still gets their news from the mainstream media, including the mainstream news websites.

So blogging may be doing nothing but blowing off steam, and draining the energy which should be used for massive protests and strikes. Indeed, maybe we are just shouting within the Matrix, in an artificial environment. Maybe we are having as much effect as protesters in government-approved “protest zone” – miles from the media, let alone the real events they are protesting.

Knowing stuff isn’t enough. Being smart isn’t enough. Indeed, being informed and smart but failing to take action to protect ourselves is a recipe for disaster (and perhaps even extinction).

Maybe we need to get outside the cyber-playground and the designated protest zones, and shout with our real, physical voices at real, physical people before anyone will actually pay attention.

Useful or a Waste of Time?

I’ve posted a poll to the right, asking whether blogs are useful or a waste of time. Vote to let us know what you think.

The potential answers are:

1. It is useful, because it informs people of information not covered by the mainstream media.
2. It is useful, because it can help organize people to take action.

3. It is a waste of time, because the powers-that-be do whatever they want, no matter how loudly the people speak out.

4. It is a waste of time, and gives people a way to blow off steam without challenging those in power, and a false sense of doing something constructive.


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Articles by: Washington's Blog

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