Thursday, 27 April 2006

Journalism meets blogging

How does the print journalism world adjust to the new media age of "citizen journalism", bloggers from all corners suddenly having a voice, opinion, a say on local and national issues and stories?

A columnist at the Philly Inquirer writes: “...the biggest evil of blogs is that first flaw, blogging's original sin: the discounting of news-gathering in favour of news analysis. Bloggers are forever telling us how easy journalism is, yet very few of them have ever really practiced it...but opinion writing is a tiny - and let's be honest, inconsequential - corner of the journalism world. Real journalism - the practice of adding to the store of public knowledge by reporting news - is a difficult, thankless, and often unpleasant task. Bloggers want no part of it.”

Bloggers without journalistic training or experience are no less worthy of reading. Coherent and articulate arguments and opinions are all valid. But surely the myriad of bloggers will not overrun the trained journalists backed by experienced news teams.

Writing regular articles and thoughts takes time and mental energy, as well as background reading and research to produce quality content. But not everyone has the time or inclination to do this for free.

True, some bloggers have made some money out of it, but it has to be almost a full-time job to be churning out lengthy quality writing at regular intervals.

For journalists and news teams it is an opportunity to break into new avenues of writing. Adding depth to articles there would otherwise not have been space for in the print world alone.

Speaking to the audience in more personal ways, taking a second look at stories with the benefit of hindsight and feeding the instant desires of those online readers who do not want to be tied down by waiting for the next days newspapers or the next weeks magazines or supplements.

The new journalistic age is still finding its feet, but the opportunities - providing some revenue streams can be found - could be rewarding for those currently inside journalism and those speaking from the blogosphere.

File under: newspapers and blogging.

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