Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Typing, Not Journalism

I was interested to read today two articles that focussed on the increasing popularity of blogging: not only as a participation sport, but as a source of entertainment. I have read several articles both online and in old fashioned newsprint by professional journalists slagging off blogging and bloggers. The basic thesis appears to be that if you haven’t “learned your trade” in journalism school, and climbed the greasy pole to end up writing a column for “guardians of the truth” like Rupert Murdoch, your opinion just isn’t worth listening to. The CBS News article “Blogging As Typing, Not Journalism” is fairly typical of the genre.

You have to ask yourself why, if professional journalists are so good and bloggers are so bad, the pros feel the need to criticise us. Could it possibly be that they’re feeling a wee bit insecure?

The article “Blogs vie with news for eyeballs” recounts the increasing influence of bloggers in reporting aspects of major stories. Bearing in mind that there are only so many hours in the day, it must be occurring to the media moguls that eventually even bloggers’ coverage of much more minor subjects may take readership away from them.

“Blooker rewards books from blogs” records the creation of a prize for books that have stemmed from successful blogs: yet another outlet for the creative juices of these “citizen journalists”.

The truth of the matter is that there are good and bad journalists, just as there are good and bad bloggers. The insatiable appetite of the population for information and entertainment will provide an audience for all four groups: the question is who will get the biggest market share in the long term?