Monday, April 18, 2005

Journalist vs. Bloggers

If you are at the commentary/surface level or a story, you are a blogger. If you try to understand all the angles to a story, report the all the facts, not just the ones you like, and then draw reasonable conclusions based on all the facts (your readers have to agree you have done this), then you are a journalist. The rush to deliver a story, and that's what a lot of so called news has become, just stories, has devalued the meaning of journalism. Bloggers want to be considered journalist, and I have to agree that a lot of them, not my blog by any stretch, but a lot, are close to today's journalist because traditional news has sunk closer to blogging to match the immediacy of Internet publishing. Traditional media outlets are also more and more willing to play staight to the emotions of their target audience, something bloggers and internet sites have been doing for a long time, because that endears the audience to the author, not journalistic reason. This is exactly what Fox News has been doing, and it works exceptionally well, but I wouldn't call it journalism, no matter how much money or how litle money you have behind it. With that in mind, I don't consider the widely read Paul Thurrott a journalist on most of his internet properties, like Internet Nexus and WinSuperSite, because he is only "reporting" at the surface level, like this post. He does make a living off writing stories he gets paid for, plus the books, so he is a journalist on some of the stuff he publishes, but not all of it. I think some people don't make that distinction. I am just using Paul as an example, I enjoy reading his opinion sites/blogs, even if I shake my head sometimes as to how he writes some of the stuff he posts. An analogy would be people all over country going to Home Depot and then doing weekend work on their house doesn't make them a professional carpenter or eletrician. You may aspire to make your work, whether it's posting on the Internet or working on your house, professional grade, but that doesn't make you a pro.