The growing world of blog-ournalists

Women’s Post writer Anastasia
Tubanos
explores the differences (and accidental similarities) between
bloggers and journalists, and why it’s important to draw a distinction.

“One of the biggest differences I’ve always noticed are the rules journalists are trained to live and die by. Sure, you could argue there are no card-carrying journalists; that it’s a trade, not a profession. But all journalists know they have a responsibility to the viewer, to the reader, and to the publication itself, and that makes their process – even before they put pen to paper – more in-depth. There’s a level of accountability.”

She continues:

“Blogging has given regular people a voice they didn’t really have in traditional media, or that they had in only a limited way. Blogging has also given experts a way to regularly express their theories and opinions on their respective areas and enable them to build and engage their own audience based on their niche.”

“The democratization of having a published opinion and the rise in so many sources of information is fine and dandy, but how much of it is really journalism?”

Tubanos spoke with Wayne MacPhail, online journalism professor at Ryerson University, who told her that bloggers shouldn’t have to operate by the same rules as journalists. Why? Because, while they may sometimes perform acts of journalism (posting breaking news or live blogging an event, for instance), not every blogger considers what they’re doing journalism.

Tubanos points to a recent study that found 52% of bloggers consider themselves journalists.

“At the end of the day, a blogger is not a journalist. And you certainly don’t have to be. Blogs are unquestionably a source of eye-opening information that has never existed so fruitfully and accessibly as before. Blogs are often a way you can get thought-provoking and truthful counter-opinions to what’s being said in the mainstream news. But if you’re one of the 52 per cent who consider themselves journalists, just be aware of the accountability you’re expected to have with that title.”

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