Are Bloggers also Journalists?

Rettberg Chapter 4— “Citizen Journalists?”

Blogging as a person—titled a journalist

Blogging has given everyone a voice and this is amazing. However, how do we distinguish between blogging and journalism? This line has been blurred and maybe is even nonexistent.  Some studies show that readers view blogs as more credible but many bloggers even dispute the notion that a blogger is a journalist.

Blogs seem to tug at emotions and this is emotional appeal is how I believe blogs gain authenticity and credibility. Journalism is enshrouded in a stigma of negative biases. One might consider Fox overly conservative or MSNBC overly liberal. However, a blogger can stand on their own—apart from the overall reputation of an organization.

Readers, in my opinion, can better relate to bloggers because a blogger is just another person with an opinion, not some organization. Bloggers also seem to gain credibility by acknowledging their writing as their personal opinions—but these opinions are free to be adopted by their readers. A blogger often writes an emotional appeal—which is fine since the blogger is just another person.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.02.17 No Breaks!

The blog, 1000 Awesome Things, uses this emotional technique. The author Neil Pasricha describes himself as just another average guy and after going through a rough patch of luck

in his life he decided to create blog where he would appreciate the simpler pleasures in life. These include anything from the cool side of your pillow to someone actually returning the pen he borrowed. Subsequently, it became one of the most popular blogs over the past few years.

Another example is the blog—Humans of New York. This blog depicts people of New York that are photographed by Brandon, the creator of HONY (the acronym). The story of Brandon is again the story of another regular person who wanted to fulfill his passion in photography. He now photograph many different people on the streets of New York everyday and below each blog post is a quote from the person—telling that person’s story.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.02.58 No Breaks!

Kovach and Rosenstiel Chapter 4— “Journalism of Verification”

There is no substitute for the facts

Kovach an Rosentstiel remind their readers just how important the facts are. Journalism in nothing without merit and truth as the basis for its topics. Kovach and Rosentstiel argue that the meaning of Objectivity had been completely lost and is now interpreted in an altogether different and incorrect manner. Objectivity according them referred to “a transparent approach to evidence.”

This idea is strikingly similar to how blogs gain credibility—through transparency. What if blogs are simply the way of the new—while print media (newspaper, magazine, etc.) are the way of the past? It may be time to simply transition to a new medium. That is not to say that we can’t learn from the medium of the past.

This idea comes back to an earlier post I made about Ulmer and his idea of electracy. Electracy combines the tradition of orality and literacy for an even better digital age.

Ultimately, Kovach an Rosentstiel are correct that the facts are of the upmost importance. Perhaps we are slightly corrupting this idea in digital media. With so much emphasis on breaking the new and exciting story we often forget the merit that credibility holds. This idea manifests in the movie shattered glass in which the truth is neglected for the thrill of a story.

 

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