Saturday, March 12, 2005

Are they soldiers or journalists?

Army Times is reporting on the growing use of blogs among soldiers deployed to Iraq.

This is the kind of real-time, insider look at war the folks back home have not had in previous conflicts, and it’s catching on quick.
For some, blogging is a rebellion against mainstream media, which, they say, leave out of their newscasts and publications important stories about the war.

So I ask, are these bloggers journalists? They have an extremely valuable perspective and are in a better position to report on the war than most MSM journalists.

One thing they are clearly lacking is objectivity. But I've argued against the overemphasis on objectivity for judging any journalist before. One could argue that the direct effect war has on their lives irreparably skews their perspective on events. But reporters have regularly put themselves in harm's way to get the story.

Truly, how are soldiers who blog any different? And even if they are different, why does that make their contribution to our knowledge any less important than what we get from 'journalists'?