Posts Tagged ‘blogs

30
Jul
09

The function of blogging to journalists

Blogging has changed the way news is received. It is used by news corporations all over the world and by thousands of journalists. It allows complete freedom from the editor, a chance to be opinionated without censorship and a chance to communicate on a more personal level with an audience. However blogging has become more than this; it can function as a form of regularly updated CV, it can show people who you know and where you’ve been and, for journalists, it can convey the personality that has to be left behind in the news papers. But is this a good thing in a business such as journalism where some of the fundamentals are supposed to be objectivity, impartiality and considering legal and ethical awareness?

I used the website www.cyberjounalist.net, which has separate lists of blogs published by news sites and blogs published independently to see clearly the difference in the edited blogs and the autonomous blogs. The main difference I’ve found while scrolling through the two lists is, predictably, the presence of a personality. The autonomous blogs have scattered bits of humour, which show opinion on certain matters, the interests of the blogger, through links and photographs and also less straightforward writing than that found on the news blogs. On the other side of the list we have news sites which are run much like a constantly updated and more animated, via video, front page to a newspapers.

Perhaps the best use of blogs is the happy medium found by columnists whose writing is more opinionated than the reporters but is still monitored by the editors so therefore can still be associated with the large news sites as, if you take even a short look into the subject, there are so many blogs on the internet it’s hard to find the ones that would be of use to you.

Scott Karp, author of this blog believes blogging is a necessary tool for new journalists to show what they are capable of as blogs can show video and therefore presenting skills, whilst also showing the writing skills of the journalist on the same page. This brings me back to the suggestion of a blog as a form of CV which, in my opinion, is a strong idea as it would be fully capable of showing all of the different types of journalistic work as well as making available information about your personal life. But then again should your personal life be under scrutiny anyway? On one hand perhaps it is important for a person to be free of any biases caused by being, say, extremely religious or simply having a very strong view on a certain subject. Things that would come in the way of having an objective view on things. However if someone were to use their blog as a form of CV it’s unlikely that they would include such negative information anyway so perhaps this reasoning cancels itself out.

Blogger ‘Paulbradshaw’ believes that although the two have become closely linked there are some firm differences that need to be kept in mind when journalism and blogging become intertwined.The rules he points out are that blogs are typically opinionated and therein lies the attraction whereas journalist practice aspires to preside above opinion in order to avoid bias. He also points out that blogs have the ability to treat the reader as a form of contributing co-creator while journalism, in the provision of the news, treats the reader as a recipient. He also goes on to show the results of a survey in which journalists around the world sent information about how they use blogging in their field of work. I’d recommend it as further reading (see the extra parts in the links at the bottom of the page).
One thing I feel should be noted is the fact that RSS feeds and mini-blogging sites, such as http://www.twitter.com, have come to such prominence lately and in my opinion are more useful in the provision of news than blogging sites. The RSS feeds and mini-blogging sites can quickly fire headlines to their audiences who can then simply Google the subject, engaging the reader in a way in which they gather their own sources after being alerted to the event. Potentially they could gather as much information from anywhere for as long as their interest holds. All they need is the headline.
Perhaps the two should be kept separate but there is no doubt that blogging is having an effect on the rapidly changing face of journalism.

Useful links:
http://www.technorati.com
http://www.blogcatalog.com
http://www.cyberjournalist.net

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