Getting the Most out of Journalism and Social Media

Luke Bradford-Winkler

Getting the Most out of Journalism and Social Media

20 February 2015

ISIS Blogs:

  1. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/20/387694614/u-s-major-offensive-planned-against-isis-in-mosul-this-spring
  2. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/228123-the-isis-crisis

When I evaluated the authority of the blogs, I checked the blog website first. Since NPR is a well-trusted and respected news source, I initially had more confidence in my first blog. However, after reading the blogs, both seemed unreliable. I could tell by the many spelling and grammatical errors that the posting authors were not subject experts. Many of the blog posts were unprofessional and opinionated. Sometimes, bloggers used sarcasm and insulted each other. A lot of the blog conversations resulted in banter between Obama supporters and Obama attackers. None of the bloggers claimed to be an eye witness to anything that they were posting. However, even if a blogger did claim to be an eye witness, I would not know how to determine whether or not the blogger was telling the truth. All of the bloggers appeared to be independent, reporting their thoughts as average citizens. Although most of the bloggers were opinionated and confrontational, a few bloggers seemed more trustworthy. Their writing style was better, and they supported their claims with many concrete facts and statistics. However, they failed to cite the sources for their support.

ISIS News Sources:

 

  1. Link obtained from Google News: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/world/middleeast/activists-trying-to-draw-attention-to-killings-in-syria-turn-to-isis-tactic-shock-value.html?_r=0
  2. Link obtained from News and Newspapers: WSJ – “Countering the ISIS Threat to Jordan” http://search.proquest.com/news/docview/1544721364/6FC16F9D4CAB4324PQ/2?accountid=14405

The traditional news sources present information about ISIS in a different manner. The writing is elegant and easy to read. Thoughts are well articled and logically organized. The articles include photographs, maps, facts, statistics, and links to other relevant sources. The NYT article is presentational, and the WSJ article is an opinion. Although the WSJ article is an opinion, the author presents his opinion professionally unlike the bloggers.  In my opinion, traditional news sources are more authoritative. The information originates from trusted news organizations and newspapers rather than the immediate reactions of individuals. Furthermore, news articles are reviewed by editors who hold authors accountable. News organizations have much more to lose by posting inaccurate information than individuals. Thus, traditional sources are better for academic research. However, I believe blogs may be a good way for researchers to quickly gain the full spectrum of opinions about a particular issue. Afterwards, researchers are better prepared to find and use traditional sources.