WSJ.com - When Bloggers Make News: "Bloggers such as Mr. Frankonis are finally moving from the alleys and side streets of the Internet into the mainstream. And as their visibility and clout increases, some are asking: what are the rules of the road? There is no exam to pass or society to join to become a blogger -- anybody can set up a 'Web log' to publish his or her ideas -- and at last count, an estimated eight million people in the U.S. are doing so, writing on everything from pets to porn. Blogs run the gamut from news and political commentary to hobbies to highly personalized attacks on fellow bloggers. Most blogs let readers post their own comments, which inevitably attract still more, which sometimes devolve into name-calling, all in the span of an afternoon.
Some bloggers don't want to be limited to the traditional notions of journalism. "Bloggers should reject the traditional idea of objectivity," says Mickey Kaus, a former New Republic and Newsweek writer whose blog Kausfiles appears on Slate.com. "One of the virtues of blogging is that it's not subject to the professional and bureaucratic restrictions of big media." Mr. Kaus says a formal code isn't needed -- just honesty. He adds: "The point of blogging is to say what you actually think -- opinion, not the traditional ideal of journalism.""
This article addresses a timely and important debate.