Since I joined Blogcritics, I'm disturbed by how many times lately I've seen myself and other bloggers treated as official sources, journalists, people whose opinions carry weight because they are posted on the Internet. And when I read misinformation in a post taken as truth, I get angry not so much at the blogger, but at the reader who can't tell the difference.
I have opinions. I research. I write. As a blogger, as opposed to a journalist, there is no gatekeeper checking the accuracy of my facts or rationality of my opinions. Blogging offers a direct link from writer to reader, and I could write a post on what a wonderful opportunity that is for both sides, but this rant is about the danger of accepting anything I or my fellow editorless and publisherless bloggers say as truth without evaluation. And we all know - or should know - that even edited and published journalists can't be taken as absolute purveyors of truth.
Despite having said as little as six months ago that I couldn't see the appeal of blogging, I take this seriously. I have some basis for my opinions. I've been a newspaper editor, freelance writer, non-profit public relations person. My present day job is in corporate communications for a health care organization. In those roles, I've been exposed to topics from Mexican entertainment and culture, municipal tree bylaws, cancer, hospital administration, knitting, and much more. But I'm an expert in none of them.
I also have fun with blogging. My oh-so-useful English literature degree and lone film studies class help me shape my opinions into critiques, and I was a staff reviewer for DVD Verdict and wrote reviews for the newspaper where I was an editor. I love movies, television, and books, both the content and the industries that create them. But I'm not an insider.