Bloggers vs. journalists debate is like the film 'Titanic'

Discover Magazine

It's tedious, it goes on forever, everyone’s a caricature and they’re stuck on a massive sinking ship. That's the view of Not Exactly Rocket Science blogger and newspaper/magazine freelancer Ed Yong. He thought the debate about whether bloggers are journalists would have been over years ago.

When I write for my blog, I do so in exactly the same way as I would for a mainstream organization. I ask whether stories are worth telling. I interview and quote people. I write in plain English. I provide context. I fact-check… a lot. I do not use press releases, much less copy them. I don’t even own pajamas.

My point, and it has been said many times before, is that blogs are simply software. They are a channel, a medium, a container for all sorts of things including journalism. Meanwhile, journalism is a craft. It is about involving accuracy, the collection of information, the telling of stories, that can be practiced anywhere by anyone with the right set of skills. It is not a newspaper. It is not a job title.

Back in 2008, Jim Brady -- then executive editor -- wrote that the bloggers vs. journalists debate was over. “There are thousands of journalists who now blog, and there are lots of bloggers who are trained journalists.”

> Why bloggers vs. journalists is still with us (Jay Rosen; May 2011)

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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