Interesting new concept from Mike's post on Media Pollution. Why would people pollute the media? Are people (bloggers) really polluting the media?
Have bloggers polluted the media?
If we look at it from a traditional academic or journalist perspective or mindset, then there are surely lots of blog posts and media filled with unedited, unchecked or inaccurate content, with "subjective beliefs and criticisms, and incomplete information". Some blogs or posts may even be filled with racism, sexism, sexism 1, and politically based or biased posts. Here on 4Chan you will find lots of mature audience only posts.
When reading "news" on online newspapers, most would expect "edited", "accurate" and validated information be posted there. So, it is not surprising that similar views may be held by some readers when visiting the professional and amateur posts created by bloggers.
However, blogging is totally different from newspapers or journalist articles and posts. Most blog posts are self-created, un-edited, or even copied and would likely represent personal or part of the community views only.
It is a coincidence that one of my learners raised a similar question (and comment) on this media pollution (due to blogging) when I discussed with them in class in the last two weeks. As my students knew that I am a blogger, I was asked if blogging would be the cause of those confusion or "overloading" of information on the internet. That was a good question, and I don't think there is a simple answer. How would you respond to that?
My response to that question was: Internet is disruptive, and so is the case for any other media like blogging. Whilst blogging is part of the media, we need to learn how to filter information - based on sensemaking and wayfinding, so as to leverage the affordance due to media in our learning journey. That is the new literacy that most people may have to learn, and to adapt in order to understand others' perspective, in a dynamic, changing digital world.
So, if people are sceptical in using blogging for personal learning and development (as part of Personal Learning Network/Environment PLN/E), then they could still consider other means of learning like the Learning Management System (LMS ), rather than blogging.
It is imperative to understand the reasons behind blogging, i.e. the use of the tool for learning, rather than using the tool solely as an instrument for publication. This means that it would be a waste of time and efforts if we use a blog merely as a static web page or repository of information, that functions like a traditional book or Web 1.0 artifact.
So, I don't think bloggers (educators in particular) would agree that they have polluted the media. Most education bloggers in my network ARE NOT polluting the media. They are contributing to the media and community.
The media is polluted because of the "mis-use" and abusive use of certain media, which is really unfortunate. This may be a value judgment. Would you say Lady Gaga be a pollution to the media? Why/Why not? I think there would be thousands or tens of thousands who would defend this call of pollution.
I would therefore leave it to our readers to make the judgment call.
What are the responses of institutions to these calls for preventing pollution to the media?
It is no surprise that a lot of businesses and institutions are posting social media guidelines and are expecting employees, educators and learners to follow strictly. “Make no mistakes, post and say the right things, think about the consequences and implications of any postings that would impact on others, educators and learners, the organisation, partners, stakeholders, etc.”
“Make a declaration that the information you posted does not represent the organisation’s views.”
Implications for bloggers
Some people are afraid that the artifacts would leave a less than perfect impression with their current employers, or potential employers, especially when they are perceived as a polluter of media, in the education or business media, that may not fully reflect an institution’s vision or mission. That is understandable.
Blogging is a very private and personal “business”, and when presented as a personal blog, should and would not be in conflict with any business and organisation, especially when the bloggers are making personal voices that are based on facts, or views and perceptions that they think are important.
Besides, bloggers like me are using blogs as a means to think and reflect on “current education and learning affairs”, where a critical analysis is necessary to achieve meaningful learning.
The mere posting and reposting of information is no difference to a broadcasting radio or television station, where information is re-transmitted without any comment or interaction.
This also stimulates me in exploring how we could help in preventing the “pollution of media”, should there be any.
So, would you think bloggers have polluted the media? Why/Why not?