Yesterday I've given an interview for Laura Šaulytė from Institute of Journalism of Vilnius University. The phenomenum of blogging attracts attention from media scholars and a new wave of academic studies starts in Lithuania. My interview is also a part of series of interviews with leading Lithuanian bloggers.
An interview has covered various issues, but I would like to get back to several most important questions I think could be of interest for you too:
- Why did I start my blog? Firstly, at some point I've understood, that various ideas, texts, speeches, comments I made public started to dissapear or it was too hard to trace them down in a few minutes. Therefore initial idea of my blog – it was an archive. Secondly, I have gradually introduced a new type of record – e.g. daily life moments, short ideas otherwise to be forgotten, quick remarks. Thirdly, (and it was more of consequence than directly targeted idea) the blog has become some kind of self-attractive point to meet readers, friends, oponents;
- Would I agree, that my blog is part of citizen media? Yes. Definetely. I would define citizen media as free speech, which is made by those, whose main mean of living is not journalism – authors are doctors, taxi drivers, polititians, chefs and all other. The fact, that the salary they receive does not originate from readership or paid advertisements, says nothing about the content these authors produce. At the moment we have approx. 3-5 thousand journalists in Lithuania, whereas even at this under-developed stage we have 50 thousand blogs. It is clear, that these potential authors are no match for the usual journalists;
- If and How will blogosphere take over the mainsteam media? From my point of view, it is hard to differentiate two separate sections:
- traditional media will also remain highly valued for their professional point of view, obligation to report objective, valued information; traditionalists would not avail themselves to publish personal opinion and will always look for real experts;
- blogosphere is part of the crowd. We can find everything here from business issues to bomb-making; nobody would expect to find balanced views or up-to-date reporting of the latest changes (at least not in the developing stage of blogoshpere as we have now in Lithuania);
- these two worlds are not comparable, they differ in wide range of factors, but it is clear, that traditional media could defend it's positions with professional qualifications and ethical considerations, which is huge challenge for the traditional media owners here in Lithuania;
- When will blogosphere reach a Tipping point? From my point of view it will start as soon asleaders from various areas (politics, phylosophy, business, arts, etc.) move themselves to the virtual world. At the moment various elites – academics, businessmen, sportsmen, polititians, etc. – still are reluctant to spare at least part of their attention to Lithuanian blogosphere (or, at least the process has just started). Alternatively, the change will be generational. As almost everybody till 30 years range read blogs, therefore it is the question of time when our generation becomes dominant and blog-oriented.