“What is the difference between Blogging and Journalism?”

Before we continue we must first of all find out what the two really are and then we will be able to identify the difference between them.

So then, what is blogging?  Blogging was actually created by Justin Hall. It all started in 1994 when many witness the   birth of the first blog. According to creative blog,  It was  called  Links.net  – a place where  creator  Justin Hall could share his musings and  his favorite  links  with the world .  It was a page where he could express himself, share his ideas and content on the web (Creative blog).

As years went by and technology progressed   in 1997 ,  many people started using their own personal websites as a place  to spotlight their ideas, the term “ weblog” was coined and  shortened to “ blog”   in 1999( Creative blog) .

People needed a place to share ideas, thoughts, express their feelings, and experiences. They found that having a place where you could share ideas and express yourself was an ideal way to share intimate information with people who are very close to you, friends and family.

According to creative blog,   when people first started blogging   they did not have to share it on Facebook or join a content network   or outwardly promote it. It was actually private   and people shared it with people they knew and they knew where to find them.

Before, blogging grew to what we know it today,   early blogger’s hosted contents on sites like Xanga. It was founded in 1998, and live journal in 1999.  Both were simple to use,  but  were  mostly  only able  to swap  out colors schemes  and minor  layout pieces, but very  effective  at allowing users to publish  quickly  and easily( Creative blog).

Many people became very interested in this new thing that they started looking beyond their intimate circle for more information to read. They started exploring, looking for the best blog and content on the web.    Blogging actually gained it roots when Charlotte Observer set up its blog and used it to share information in mainstream news something that had not been done before.  They used it and kept people informed. The Bonnie Blog set   records for page views on the observer’s site. They also set the stage along with Drudge reports breaking of the Clinton –Lewinsky scandal, for a major shift in the way blogging platform were used (Creative Blog).

Soon people started showing interest in blogging and online news.  They needed to find new ways on how to manage the content and share these ideas with the public.  According to creative blog, I n 2003 Google launch AdSense, this allowed bloggers to earn income for their work.  Soon many people were blogging. This gave them the opportunity to earn an income for the work that they do. Now it has become a profession for some people whereby they learn how to blog and make money. As we have seen what was once consider to be expression of people’s feelings , passion, ideas , thoughts and what was  going on around the world, like current events has evolve to a whole new phenomenon. Blog is abbreviated of “Weblog,”   it is used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information.  A blog is like a personal diary type commentary and links to articles on other websites.   It ranges from personal to political and can focus on concerns of the people. It is a place where most people feel very free to write and share their concerns.

Add context to a story by linking and commenting on other material found online.  Basically  when journalist blogs , they express their view about the issues surrounding whatever they are reporting on and even does it better because there are no restrictions  like when they are actually doing journalistic work.  To be a journalist one needs an academic training or formal training from a reputable school of journalism.  To be a blogger one needs a website and need to know how to express him or herself by writing.

Simply, blogging is viewed by many as unreliable because it’s someone’s opinion and the other one is viewed as reliable because one has to verify the source of the information before it can be broadcast the world. However, I think it is a perception issue of what the public view as reliable or unreliable and I say this because when we look at the evolvement of blogging over the years we can infer that blogging has become a huge deal that even major companies are using blogs to promote their businesses on their websites  and different forums. It has become one of the reliable sources that most people rely on to read and make decisions about whether they want to do business with the firm, purchase from them or inquire about what they do and what it entails.  As mentioned before, even journalist  and others have taken to blogs in order  to share information with others.

Why is Moral Relativism Being Challenged?

Morality is universally considered as one of the foundational aspects of our human existence. We make countless moral judgments every day and all our cries for justice are found in the knowledge that something is wrong and that it needs to be addressed. With the rise of Modernism and Post-Modernism in the mid-twentieth century, man who had disposed of hitherto frames of reference and found himself lost, placed greater emphasis on morality as being constructed and something he could change if he had the need to. However, the roots of this theory can be traced back to ancient Greece. It challenges the claims of moral objectivism which posits an objective moral standard from which we derive our notions of right and wrong. Relativists oppose this considering that nothing can exist so objectively, and the possibility of an overarching deity is not considered. Therefore, it is inconceivable to relativists that objectivism is tenable. However, one can only reject or approve the validity of an idea by looking at the other options available, and if they explain reality better.

While moral relativism was considered as a given in the absence of a God, it is being challenged by many philosophers in current scholarship. This includes many eminent scholars and even pop atheistic philosophers like Sam Harris who tries to posit an objective standard even though he fails to justify why it should exist. There are different kinds of moral relativisms such as subjectivism or perhaps the most popular of all, cultural relativism. The reason for the challenge is simple. The notion runs into multiple fundamental philosophical problems. We will discuss a few of those here.

Firstly, morals being relative to culture does not let us arbitrate between cultural conflicts without someone pointing out how it is immoral to impose one culture’s morality on another. This also assumes that cultures have morals that are vastly different but when one looks into this assumption, we do see a pattern of universality in many fundamental moral principles we hold to. The differences are mostly superficial and not fundamental. Rape is never considered as ever being objectively okay, neither is genocide or murder or any kind of harm. So, one is forced to say that this can only mean that there is an objective standard that everyone knows and is universal which is why it shows up in all cultures, but that our ways of knowing it and how we interpret it is different. This will explain why there have been cannibalistic cultures and regimes that have killed many of its own people. It was not because they thought murder was okay since they wouldn’t allow any of their kin to be murdered, but that they considered the murder of another who is not part of their community as necessary for the survival of the community, which leads us to power struggle and hierarchy rather than relativistic morals. We condemn slave owners and the Nazis even though we say that at that time, what they indulged in was not considered wrong by the morality of that time. We don’t however use that to justify their actions since we say they should have known better.

photo of a woman sitting beside statue
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This leads us to another problem with relativism: it cannot make any sense of moral progress. If everything was relative, why do we consider some practices better than others and try to change what is right? Should not we just accept it as our culture? And attributing such standards to culture is also problematic since culture doesn’t exist apart from humans. If the answer is that we oppose certain practices because all people should be treated equally, we would have to answer why we are equal at all. Our definition of ‘equal’, as well as our idea of all people being equal, will also be only mere opinions if everything is relativistic. Particularly today, we hear about “progress” being made and us being “better” than our ancestors morally. But we can only use the term “better” when we know we are moving towards the best. Without a standard, how do we even know where on the scale of progress we are?

Philosophers opine that objective morality can be known just as physical reality is known, that is through experience. The feeling that we are wronged when someone hurts us or oppresses us testifies to our inner reality of being moral creatures. In fact, we are unable as humans to think outside this framework. The most common objection is that moral relativism can be used to legitimize almost anything. This article barely scratches the surface of the complexity of the issue. While philosophers are trying to salvage the idea of relativism by offering arguments and with constant engagement, there is still a need for proper justification of this notion.  One has to wait and see how this debate turns out, but in the meantime try to learn for oneself, understand both sides of the argument and come to decide what is more rational and can be believed with reasonable surety.

 

 

Education and Values

Indian culture has always placed great emphasis on values and morals in education. From a young age, we are taught how to give respect and to speak honestly. Most of our schools have moral education sessions or classes where values are taught through stories or folk tales, especially to younger children. We have fables that always end with morals and tales passed on from one generation to the next which talk about such values that one must never forget. These have gone a long way in shaping the ethos and spirit of our culture and character. Alongside formal education in school, imbibing values have also been considered important in the past.

However, with the advancements of science and technology and greater emphasis being put on what is written down in the textbooks and equations, we see a natural decline in the importance given to value education. Parents are around their children less since they have to work long days at the office and kids often grow up in front of the TV without much human interaction. They usually are given what they ask for and situations of conflict are not common. At school, they are asked to excel in the subjects and make scoring high their ultimate goal. Such an enormous weightage is given to marks that students will go to any lengths to gain approval by scoring well, even if it means breaking the rules. With the rise of the notions of western secularism and morality itself coming to be considered a construct, moral science as it was once called is often deemed unnecessary. This, however, is terribly unhelpful and detrimental to our progress as a human race precisely because man has become more intelligent but also willing to use his intelligence to hurt others. We need to ask whether it isn’t a direct result of devaluing morals that we have an alarming increase in the number of social atrocities, murders, rapes, even discriminations we thought we would not need to fight anymore. Why is it that even with greater progress than any other time in history being made in all fields that we still find ourselves fighting for equality and we keep designing weapons potent enough to destroy the planet?

Knowledge is useful and essential. But imparting only technical and scientific knowledge leads to that very knowledge being used to destroy others. In an age when we have become increasingly intolerant of others who might disagree with us even if it is a trivial matter, a culture that prioritizes one’s own self over all others, knowledge is often weaponized. It itself becomes political and is used as a method of exclusion. As C.S. Lewis succinctly put it, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Has value education always been able to solve all our cultural problems? Of course not. But it did inculcate certain morals and work ethics at a young age that consciously or otherwise underlined our motivations and actions. Teaching it in school as a subject has never been the only solution. But ensuring that the student is always guided to think better, to be empathetic, and to exercise compassion goes a long way, even if it is conveyed as a prep talk at the end of a mathematics class and if they see it in action. Only education that takes values with it alongside can make our society better in all aspects and lead to students wanting to effect a change for the better in the lives of their communities.