Can bloggers be opinion leaders?

Have you heard of an opinion leader?

This is someone, who people trust and often ask for an advise – a writer, a journalist, an expert in some professional area or even a famous actor. These people are real leaders, because  they read a lot and are aware of the current events. They observe the media and inform themselves for the opinion of different people and use it as a solid basis to form their own opinion.

The opinion leaders are often concidered very important by the media. Usually those people are good-looking and charismatic and catch the attention of the audience. The journalists usualy ask them for an interview to find out what they think about a particular problem, because they know that most of the people like them and find them interesting. Whenever and wherever the opinion leaders share their thoughts, people listen to them carefully and trust them. Somehow they have managed to gain people’s trust and that makes them quite powerful.

Who can be an opinion leader? Anybody, who is concidered inteligent and successful enough. I wonder if bloggers can also be opinion leaders…Why not? Bloggers also observe the news and do not hesitate to publish their thoughts. People follow different blogs in order to inform themselves what the bloggers think of the current events.

But it is not that easy to be an opinion leader, because you are under a lot of pressure, knowing that people read your articles and listen to you very carefully. You are their leader and you have no right to mislead them. You can easily stop being an opinion leader and be replaced by someone new with fresh ideas and original thoughts.

If you want to be an opinion leader, it is not enough to be a charismatic person with an extraordinary thinking and briliant ideas. You have to be honest and equitable. And you simply have to gain people’s trust. But first you have to deserve it.

Does internet make journalism better or worse?

There has been a lot of discussion about wether the internet makes journalism better or worse. There isn’t a correct answer. Everbody has a different opinion. But what everybody agrees on, is that the internet accelerates journalism.

Some people like internet more than the written press, others like the written press more. I don’t have a preference. I like the internet but I also like the written press. It’s both good in their own way. The internet will not change journalism, only journalists can change journalism. The internet does accelerate journalism but the quality will remain the same. There is on the other hand a fear for incorrect news. Because everything goes faster on the internet, it will happen more often that news is incorrect, but with the internet one can change and correct articles in a very easy way.

New Belgian news site NewsMonkey

As said before, the printed press is in trouble. Partly because of the decline in advertising revenues. Advertisers are not interested anymore in funding printed press.

Newspapers and journalists need to find new ways to bring their news to the people. A new initiative in Belgium shows us how we can change our ways of news gathering.

NewsMonkey.be is a new project by Mick Van Loon, Wouter Verschelden and Patrick Van Waeyenberge, and supported by several Belgian journalists, who ‘lives to the rhythm of the web and social media‘. It’s a news site who hopes to survive by crowdfunding. The site looks for small shareholders. Starting from 50 euros, you can become a co-owner.

The site’s goal is to strengthen their bond between journalists and news readers. They have promised to keep their content free. Everyone who’s interested can access the content of the site.