Guest Blog by Jannet Walsh ~ “Minnesota Native Daughter”

Introduction to this post by Tami Tagtow

This post Fifth Estate alive in Atwater has been reposted to area voices Look At This with permission from Jannet Walsh, author of area voices Minnesota Native Daughter.

To see one of the blizzard videos mentioned in this blog click here.

To see Tami’s YouTube Channel click here, currently there are 82 videos on this site.

To read more Minnesota Native Daughter blogs click here.

Fifth Estate alive in Atwater

By Jannet Walsh
Willmar, Minnesota


Jannet Walsh seated next to a statue of the late Nelson Poynter, founder of� the Poynter Institute, a school for journalism located in St. Petersburg, Florida on Oct. 26, 2010.

The Fifth Estate is alive.

What’s that?

The Fourth Estate has generally been referred to as the press or media, such as the legacy outlets of newspapers, radio and television, but is shrinking in the number of people that currently create and distribute news or information.  There are many reasons for the shrinkage, including national and global economic problems and so much more.

Class or groups in society
First Estate ~ clergy
Second Estate ~ nobility
Third Estate ~ commoners
Fourth Estate ~ press or media
Fifth Estate ~ bloggers or citizen journalists

The Fifth Estate, not The 5th Dimension singing group from the 1960s, includes people that are not traditional journalists, but are creating and distributing information on blogs, websites and via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Every individual and organizations that is re-purposing information for the public, might not be for the purposes of journalism, according to Kelly McBride, senior faculty at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.

George Parker, left, of The New Yorker, and Kelly McBride, senior faculty at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida on Oct. 26, 2010.  Parker mentioned he thinks blogs should be raw and rough, not as finely edited as traditional writing or journalism. Photo by Jannet Walsh, via iPhone

McBride spoke on the topic of “Behold the Fifth Estate, How do you fit in?” on Oct. 25, 2010.  I was a recipient of a scholarship funded in part by the Ford Foundation to attend a workshop, Oct. 25 to 28, on Critical tools for Non-Traditional Journalists.

McBride mentioned not to dismissive bloggers making up the Fifth Estate. Those nontraditional journalists may be the next generation’s Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow.

Great local Fifth Estate example Atwater

During the most recent snow storm, I noticed Tami and Dale Tagtow of Atwater were posting videos, eight in total, from the blizzard on Facebook.  I sent the link to editor Kelly Boldan as I thought it would be of interest to readers and viewers on  The page received at least 914 views since Dec. 13, most likely more after I have posted this blog.

What’s changing with media?
Our patterns of news consumption have changed.  We no longer get our news just from a printed newspaper, but usually many sources online, for example as and YouTube videos.

With the Fourth Estate, the traditional media is smaller due to many factors, The Fifth Estate is growing larger with Facebook, Twitter and blogs with original news sent directly from phones and laptop computer.

Now with the Fifth Estate there are more opinions, creating more outlets for information and reporting.  There is less authority with the Fifth Estate, which is not good or bad. It is the consumer of news and information that must decide what sources are credible when surfing the web.

Positive values of Fifth Estate
The Fifth Estate gives a voice to the voiceless.  Maybe you have an area of interest such as food, family travel and health or other you want to blog about.  You could start your own blog today at
Also includes
– Filling in the gabs where someone or something is left out
– Participation
– Accountability, such as the Bed Bug Registry
– Story-telling

What can you do to join the Fifth Estate?
A great way to enter the Fifth Estate is by starting a blog at Area Voices, www.  I started the blog  you are reading, Minnesota Native Daughter, shortly after I returned to live in Minnesota, most recently living in Florida.

If you have story ideas, photos and videos, please send them to

Join the Fifth Estate today and start a blog at!

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist,  journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more!  Contact her at Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at
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One Response to Guest Blog by Jannet Walsh ~ “Minnesota Native Daughter”

  1. Pingback: Reblogged – The Fifth Estate in Awater | Minnesota Native Daughter

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