Am I a Blogger or a Journalist? (Or Both?)

blogging vs journalismImage via

Bloggers seem to be having an identity crisis. Are they journalists? Are they diary-keepers? Are they both? 

With the rise in popularity of blogging and of social media networks, scholars have begun to take the above questions into serious consideration. However, few, if any, can claim a to have a concrete answer. Jill Rettberg tackles these questions in chapter four of her book, Blogging, entitled “Citizen Journalists?” Her research reveals that a majority of bloggers do not view themselves as journalists, but that blogging and journalism certainly have a relationship.

Rettberg states that the world of blogging impacts journalism in the following three main ways:

Blogs can…

  1. Provide eyewitness accounts of events reported in journalism
  2. Contribute detail and insight to stories that could have been reported by journalists, but were not because of factors such as time and publicity
  3. Monitor already published news in mainstream media by “gatewatching”

Most scholars can agree that blogging serves a purpose on its own and also intersects with the world of journalism at certain points. The extent of this intersection, however, remains highly debated. The following videos showcase distinct views on the world of blogging in relation to journalism and relaying news.

Nicholas Lemann, former dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, shares his thoughts on bloggers as journalists

David Patrick Columbia, society blogger, expresses a more positive approach to blogging

While the blogging world accepts and even embraces subjectivity, journalism still relies heavily on its claims of remaining objective. However, this notion of objectivity has been called into question more and more lately, leading Kovach and Rosenstiel to display the importance of truth in journalism in their article “Journalism of Verification.” They discuss the values of objectivity, transparency, humility, originality, and various other reporting processes that make up a successful report.

Similar to the above methods used for verification in journalism, individuals and companies that utilize digital media are now beginning to search for ways to verify information online. This task can prove extremely difficult because of the plethora and the diversity of sources and the rapid ability for information to go viral.

One of the latest technologies, Storyful, seeks to “discover, verify, and acquire social media for storytelling” for brands and companies. Could this be a new method of verification for the online world?

Storyful

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Check out how Storyful works and impacts online news and branding here.

The readings for today make me wonder about the current regulations set for online media. Has a standard code of ethics or guidelines been published for online forms of media such as blogging, tweeting, etc? Has there been political action taken to draw up legislation that governs online forms of media?

Until next blog,

Evan

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