Bloggers versus Journalists

Bloggers versus Journalists
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(C) Photo: GTS Blog

Over an evening cup of coffee with a friend and a couple of acquaintances at Agave on Wednesday a question came up that got me to blog, and judging by the title of this blogpost you’d be able to say that the question was “Bloggers versus Journalists”, especially with the online scene where the blogger sphere has a big influence on consumer behavior when it comes to the market or human behavior as a pattern such as the Egyptian Revolution this past January.

So who does one trust? Blogs or Traditional Media? Journalists seem to believe that bloggers are over-rated, but then again, blogs just like sections in magazines and newspaper fall under different arrays, there are photo blogs, video blogs, and well old fashioned text-based blogs like this one that could either be blogging about random stuff, thoughts (Sleepless in Amman included), latest tech, news etc…

But then again, bloggers like myself don’t believe there is much transparency for traditional media, and I always use this example to explain the reason behind my judgment or prejudice as many might accuse. So step outside your comfort zone and think as an editor for a few seconds, say you are the editor in chief for a publication and a scandal is about to hit your paper concerning company X that manufactures product Y, but then again, company X allocated a fair amount of their annual marketing budget to advertise in your respectful publication to advertise product Y, Z, A, B and many more, would you want to publish a scandal that would stop the generous amounts of annual advertising and risk losing a client NO YOU WON’T! But then again, if you said yes, I admire you for your ethics but I am sorry buddy, your business will be bankrupt faster than you can think. But say you’re a blogger, you have nothing to lose, no one pays you money to advertise, unless you’ve actually monetized your blog, and most likely when you’re going to be writing a product review you will be talking from a user experience point of view, which I believe would influence other users or readers like yourself and myself included to making decisions on their next purchase or investment.

See one might argue that this is not true, that the advantage of a journalist over a blogger is that it’s not personal and that they write objectively, (which I beg to differ and you can refer to my example above once more to confirm why) but then again, in today’s connected world when everyone is clicking away on their Android, Blackberry or iPhone it’s hard to say that bloggers are not all connected because they really are, so maybe the whole bloggers versus journalists is nothing but a thin line, that people use to separate and set identities to a writer?

Ah yes, a WRITER. A person who composes thoughts using text, occasional images is a writer, they can write poetry, a short story, a novel, an article, news, and even a blogpost, but that talent, passion, is all about the writing!

 

Which leads to the next big question, can a blogger be a journalist, and can a journalist be a blogger? Well honestly speaking I think it’s easier for a journalist to be a blogger than a blogger to become a journalist for one main reason, journalists are already doing it, it’s part of their 40 hour/week job and they get paid for what they do, so that extra piece of publication that doesn’t have a deadline to go to press can actually be do-able, it’s just a few words into your word processor and published into your online space.

Bloggers to become journalist has to depend on one on many factors, what can kind of blog do they have? Is it news-oriented? Do they have the time and energy to be on the run reporting what’s actually out there, probably not! I mean I am a blogger and I would kill to retire and blog the rest of my life without having to work, but reality is much bitter than that, so I choose my sleepless nights to blog some thoughts and share them with you.

 

The question now isn’t whether blogs can be journalism. They can be, sometimes. It isn’t whether bloggers “are” journalists. They apparently are, sometimes. We have to ask different questions now because events have moved the story forward. By “events” I mean things on the surface we can see, like the tsunami story, and things underneath that we have yet to discern.

Bloggers I believe have shifted the social location, most people aren’t reading offline as much as their reading online. The New York Times‘publisher Arthur Sulzberger stated that he eventually expects the “Gray Lady” will no longer be a physical newspaper. See, the thing is the newspaper circulation fell between 2008 and 2009 and continue to fall throughout the years! The main reason: most people are spending their time reading the news online instead of offline.

I am not sure I have much more to say, maybe bloggers and journalists are different, maybe they’re not. We’re all writers, but then again, we tend to point fingers on credibility, thinking bloggers aren’t as credible as journalists, but then again, hey, do you really think there is much ethics in journalism now a days when advertises literally cover the cost of the printing of the news publications? So what do YOU think?

 

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Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.

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