As I was roaming around looking for jobs and stuff in England, I found this very precise and insightful, compelling article about blogging and journalism.
I guess, part of what I find interesting is that I’ve been a journalist for about twelve years, and been an online publisher for almost eight. I’ve written and covered so much in that time, that I find myself becoming a deeper observer than I think I ever was in real life. I interview people, even when I have no story to write, I remember details about events… I write blog entries in my head, that never make it here. Why, who knows? The point is, I write constantly about my world in my head, picking and choosing words to describe what I am seeing and sensing and my observations. Anyway, those of you that come by regular-like, feel me, I know you do.
The thing is, this blog is like, this little end-zone for my thoughts, and not everything gets in here. Between 1994 and 1996, I wrote 150 articles for one newspaper. I wrote for other publications as well, and since then have written and edited more stuff than I think I can do without assistance. I’m sure if I add it up, it will number in the ‘two thousand’, maybe more range. All that stuff is backed up in digital archives, and is slowly being migrated to my personal site. The thing is, going back and reading that stuff is painful, most of it is more than ten years old, and truly just crank. The punctuation is so god-awful, it amazes me that these people employed copy readers!
However, some of them are quite good, and for me, it’s like a dip into my blog, except the newspaper I wrote for was my ‘blog’ in a way. So I covered all the stuf other people were too busy to do, and they kept giving stories, and I wrote these amazingly personal stories and got them in there as well. The thing is, those personal stories are what really got the reactions. The letters, the phone calls and comments from people at work. They facilitated my voice, at that particular point in time. I wrote about all kinds of things, making my personal part of the public space, part of the public domain.
Some of them I think I’ll go back and expand upon, add to, because they are really seeds of ideas. I plan to do that with blog entries too. (More incentive for the newcomers to dig around in the archives!)
As I have grown older, I have found new ways of expressing that voice, and of all of them, this blog here on journalspace has given me that space. However, I publish across the web. I publish and facilitate other writers like myself, regular young people like me, to express their voices in the same way.
This article I found to be quite balanced. Because I’ve been reporter, photographer, editor and more recently blogger, I find it does a really good job of addressing numerous perspectives, and certainly of identifying and examining the relationship between the blogosphere and traditional media.
It’s actually made me examine much of what I do with my blog, and how I participate in both the traditional media and in the blogosphere. It’s an interesting story.
If you’re new to blogging, you should also take a look at, “How To Give Good Head”, one of smotlock’s better, among consistently impressive posts. For a perspective on blogging I’ve always partuclarly identified with as well, read “Where were you then and where are you now?” by syciano.
For those of you who write besides your blog, or at least aspire to; if you take the craft seriously and at least try with the punctuation, lucidity, journalistic ethics, filtering the media through your own seive, and/or dancing the border the way I do, have a go at this article.
If journalism is by definition the reporting of news in a fair, balanced and accurate way, then blogging is not journalism. But if the truth is that not all journalists and media outlets adhere to these principles, the distinction is less clear.
“While people from journalism backgrounds tend to say they aspire to the high ideals of truth, fairness, and accuracy, I don’t think the output of most newspapers comes close to that,” Matt Haughey, creator of Metafilter.com, told dotJournalism. “When I’m reading a blog that features reportage or fact-checking, I can determine myself if the author is being factual because they’ll reveal their sources in links, and I can read up on them to determine how impartial they are being.
“If they’re not sticking to standards, it’ll be noticed by readers and other webloggers, who will take the author to task for the impropriety. The community acts as the editors.”
A corollary of the debate over blogging has highlighted the feeling that many big news and media organisations have lost sight of the fact that no publication or source can automatically command the trust of the reader.
But journalists are not the only ones who know how to speak the truth, according to JD Lasica: “Bloggers are increasingly engaging in random acts of journalism whenever they report on events they witness first-hand or when they offer analysis, background or commentary on a newsworthy topic. Those who publish rumour and present it as fact will be burned fairly quickly.”
The weblogs that have gained huge followings have done so on the basis of becoming an authority on a particular subject, or breaking news that has subsequently proved true. Authors of blogs are given authoritative status by the very readers who have trusted them over time or share the same perspective.
“Individuals build up brands and track records just as media organisations do,” said Mr Lasica. “Not all bloggers go the extra mile, but many are now taking the extra step of trying to verify a report by sending an email, picking up the phone or checking with a hoax site before publishing a report that may or may not be true.
“For those who don’t bother to check their facts, reputation filters and circles of trust in the blogosphere help weed out the nonsense. We all need to do a better job of fine-tuning our bull[shit] meters.”
As journalist-blogger Ken Layne once said of the blogging masses: “We can fact-check your ass.”
The reaction towards blogging as a medium recalls that to the New Journalism movement, pioneered by writers such as Hunter S Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote and Norman Mailer. The New Journalism movement transformed the conventional wisdom of news writing by presenting stories as features with greater colour, vibrancy and permeated with the personal experiences of the writer. The sense of detachment between the writer and reader disappeared.
Read More: Blogging: the new journalism?