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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Comments

Wayne Hurlbert

As you said in your post, Trudy, there was a time when newspapers were the only journalism game in town. Added to that mix are radio and television. The internet has added conventional journalism to its mix. On the other hand, the internet has also added blogs which are not "classic" journalism in the conventional understanding of the word. Blogs are a mixture of news, editorial, and personal observation and information. They are often events personalized, and individualized, yet for a larger audience. It is almost an oxymoron of mass individualism.

Are bloggers journalists? The answer is yes and no. Bloggers are both and neither. One reason mainstream media pundits have so much hostility to bloggers is the very expansion of their craft found in blogs.

Bloggers break the alleged rules of journalism and are creating an entirely new form of media. As with most new ideas, there are those who want to classify them in the old terminology (journalism) or devalue them entirely (as many in traditional media do).

Trudy W. Schuett

I'm thinking that time will eventually give us the answers to these questions. The earliest journalists, in fact, were also unpaid people with a need to share such information as they had. At one point, if my history is correct, during the English Civil War in the 17th Century, was about the time newsletters were established, and they were illegal.

So at least in this century we get to talk about it.

Trevor Cook

I agree that bloggers are generally not journalists but many could be if they had the time and inclination and some research and writing skills. My concern with the blogging & journalism discussion is that we should not confuse the craft of journalism with the medium. Some academics and journalists say you can only be a journalist - in effect - if you work for a media company. I object to that definition. As to standards, I never write about my clients so I avoid puffing them and sidestepping the negatives. And I don't want to have to put disclosure notes on my posts. I think a blog of a PR person puffing his clients would be very boring. This, of course, puts limits on my subject matter that would be unacceptable in a journlaist, and I think those self-imposed limits are a major distinction between full-time journalists and blogging hobbyists like myself. If blogging paid my salary, I wouldn't have to impose these limits on myself.

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