Bloggers are journalists. Or at least they should aspire to be.

Over the past few days, I have for one reason or another come across Alexander Mcnabb.  He certainly gets around as I’ve heard hi on the radio, seen him talking Dubai on a Piers Morgan UK TV show, come across his blog and today saw his comments in some random media mag.  Alexander seems quite keen to stress one point very firmly, and that is that bloggers are not journalists and should be refered to, as what he calls ”customers”. 

I disagree.  For blogging to survive as a genre (and there is alot of talk about its death) it has to start to live up to journalistic principles.  For me one of the pitfalls of the internet age is that every Tom, Dick and Harry feels that, now they are given the ability to create their own blog, they should be able to get away with writing content that is often boring and uniformitive that does nothing to forward the readers view about the world around them.  For me it doesn’t matter where you’re reading it from, be it a magazine, a newspaper, book OR blog the content should of at least aim to be of a high quality with the principles of a balanced argument in place.

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The blogoshere is filled with alot of hot air and its hard to deny that its not.   Readers have to sift through endless mindless expressions about things that no one really cares about because the writer hasnt taken the time or effort to consider what they are writing.  One day in the not so distant future, all writing will be internet based and the boundaries between a journalist and a blogger will have all but disappeared.   Once that happens, it will only be the quality, researched and subststantiated points of view and articles that will get noticed.

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3 Responses to “Bloggers are journalists. Or at least they should aspire to be.”

  1. LOL!

    1) I am a tart!

    2) ‘Some random magazine’? Gadzooks! That’s Campaign Middle East!

    3) If bloggers are defined as journalists, then they will be held up to the same principles as journalists under the new media law. Furthermore, if bloggers are journalists, then opinion needs to come out of blogs. Because a good journalist is a conduit for information, for the story – not a commentator. Although journalistic styles have become more commentative of late, the principle of journalism remains that the journalist is not a participant. However, bloggers do participate – that’s what makes them so readable when they’re good (and I agree with you about when they’re bad). My definition of bloggers as customers, or consumers, is not a bad one I would submit – it’s our consumer voice being empowered that is changing the way companies behave, react and account for their actions.

    Cheers!

  2. I think you are way off the mark with this idea that all blogging is one form of expression that needs uniform standards.

    One of the BEST things about the internet age is that every Tom, Dick and Harry feels they can publish whatever they want. Some will write about their cat and what they ate for dinner last night, some will opinionate wildly about the things they care about, some will post pictures of celebrities with snarky notes scrawled on top, and some will do what is currently considered good journalism.

    There is a place for all of them, precisely because of the nature of the internet. On TV or in newspapers, technological bottlenecks meant the filter had to be extremely high, and only the most common denominator stuff could get published. The internet means no filter, everyone can find the things they like and ignore the 99.9% they don’t like…

  3. jacquesrenault Says:

    Alex – The media law is a whole new kettle of smelly fish which we wont go in to here…..i guess my principle point in reponse, is that the boundary between journalist and blogger is beginning to blur. What will decide the content that will be read will be down to the article/comments or whatever that are interesting and well researched.
    I agree that the voice provided by blogs for consumers does have a huge value in scrutinizing. I just want that scrutiny to be done in an interesting/well thought out way.

    Tom – i completely agree that the internet has had a huge democratizing effect on people in allowing them to express themselves. But you have to agree that there is alot of rubbish out there and unless some form of standard is set, the world is eventually going to be swamped in cybermush (stories about peoples dogs or what they like to eat on a tuesday) This swamping will have an effect in the long term on the general quality of comment/blogs, no matter how much filtering there is.

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