blogging and journalism are the same thing

actually i know nothing about journalism (except that wikipedia page i just linked to). but as i was washing my hands in the bathroom thinking over the second half of the blogging conference, i wish there had been a session dealing explicitly with “what journalism is.”

journalists know, or think they know, but most bloggers (with the exception of anton and ed and dan) really don’t. and i think we could actually benefit from knowing more about what journalists do. i’m envisioning the need for a book entitled “journalism for bloggers.” i think this would help. at least i would find it interesting because i believe it’s along the lines of what i would like to do more of.

and so i presume (and maybe others have already pontificated on this topic) that what we currently think of as journalism and what we currently think of as blogging are merging. the economic equation suggests that this will have greater reprecussions on journalism than it will on blogging. there will always be a continuum, salwarts on either end holding out against the change, but i see a tall bell curve in the commingled future of journalism and blogging.

update from the news:

7 Comments

jane

In the same way, perhaps, that a German Sheperd and a dog are the same thing. I think that journalism is the umbrella term, and blogging is under it.
I bet that they didn’t bother with defining it at any point because it’s one of those terms that occurs with such frequency that everyone knows/or thinks they know/ what it is. Maybe you don’t know until it’s that 3am moment. Like when you’ve studied math for years and then you’re up in the middle of the night saying, dude! what *is* math?
This is not to say that the question is not worth asking…

I gotta disagree that bloggers are journalists. I think bloggers can “report” things, but reporters are not the same as journalists. Just like I can paint and thus be a painter, but not an artist. There is a craft, skill, etc. to journalism as there is to art.

Regardless….it’s an interesting thought given the Gannon/Guckert scandal right now and all of us trying to define “journalist” in this new age of the blog-o-sphere. And while my progressive mind wants to proclaim that anyone can be a journalist, I hesitate given what that moniker can mean in terms of access.

jackie, oops, inadvertantly deleted your comment–pressed the wrong button. sorry. no ill will. feel free to post it or anything else again.

ryan

what is the point of having journalists in the first place? i like to think it’s to provide us with information from a broad range of sources and to ensure the accuracy of that information. when viewed in the context of emerging forms of media production (scanners, cameras, video recorders, audio recorders, etc), the only real area in which tranditional ‘journalists’ can maintain an edge over a distributed web of people gathering evidence of their own existence is in their ability to authenticate sources of information.

the most common argument i hear for traditional media is that they act as a filter and a means of organizing information, and i flatly disagree with the idea that they are needed to organize information. if google news has proven anything it is that tracking what lots of people are interested in is an extremely effective way of organizing information.

so i guess i’d say that discussing the ethics of posting false or misleading information is more relevant than discussing if bloggers are journalists.

jane, i would say that blogging is a medium (like newspapers, tv, radio), and that journalism in the purest sense is the objective. so to metaphorize your use of “umbrella” journalism is the objective of not getting wet. blogging is an umbrella, newspapers are like rain jackets, and tv is a waterproof hat.

as with all new media (essentially analogous with new technologies) the original objective (and the existing media which have grown to become synonymous with the original objective) may not look much like a dog anymore.

ryan

from the article you posted…

‘It is not true that there are no controls. It is not true that the blogosphere is the Wild West. What governs members of the blogosphere is what governs to some degree members of the MSM, and that is the desire for status and respect. In the blogosphere you lose both if you put forward as fact information that is incorrect, specious or cooked. You lose status and respect if your take on a story that is patently stupid. You lose status and respect if you are unprofessional or deliberately misleading. And once you’ve lost a sufficient amount of status and respect, none of the other bloggers link to you anymore or raise your name in their arguments. And you’re over. The great correcting mechanism for people on the Web is people on the Web.’

jane

i knew i should have thrown in another metaphor

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