Flutterby™! : Bloggers as journalists

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Bloggers as journalists

2002-04-11 15:53:35+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Meta-blogging usually bores me, but today when John Hiler asks "Are Bloggers Journalists?", my feathers got ruffled. My response in general has been "no, and thank the deities for that!" He uses as an example his piece on "Google Bombs", which got mangled into the BBC abomination "Google hit by link bombers". A short pause here while we remember who the professional journalists are. He then goes on to link to a whole bunch of codes of ethics of various professional journalism organizations. I'll bet that on any given day I can disqualify at least one piece in the New York Times or the Washington Post under at least half of the terms laid out in those standards.

Yes, sometimes personal publishers don't track down all sides to the story, but don't go spreading this bullshit attitude that somehow the professionals are doing anything better than we, collectively, are. Remember, somewhere there's a terrorist or a drug kingpin reading the paper saying "This technology article is really interesting and full of facts."

Reading further, he proposes a blogging code of ethics that I think are rules that we should assume is what everyone is publishing under:

  1. Amateur Journalists are inherently biased.
  2. Caveats are critical online.
  3. Blogging doesn't magically make you immune from Libel and Slander.

To which I would add:

  1. The only difference between a weblogger and a professional journalist is that they're willing to make pests of themselves and track down original sources. As a personal publisher, you should be prepared to do the same.

[ related topics: Weblogs Ethics Journalism and Media ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-04-11 19:15:06+00 by: anser

One difference between bloggers and journos is that the latter have to do it for a living.

Another difference is that bloggers can't afford to be drunk off their asses five evenings per week, the blog tends to suffer.

A final difference is that bloggers are not threatened in the slightest by the existence of journalists, and therefore do not obsess about the distinction.

#Comment made: 2002-04-11 19:58:00+00 by: debrahyde

Bloggers aren't journalists. Period. Instead, journalists (many of some reknown) have co-opted the weblog as a means of heightening their visibility. I don't object that per se, except they're so damn visible, it's threatening the original perception of the weblog. Soon, it'll only be seen as an adjunct to a journalist's professional endeavors. In fact, I think we're seeing that reflected already in journalists writing about weblogs -- the majority of people they spotlight now aren't us elders who've been in the indie trenches from day one (or day two; I can't believe I qualify) but The Big People out there who've only recently co-opted the blog.

#Comment made: 2002-04-12 05:00:40+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Yeah, well, I'd bet a popular blogger could get a White House press pass more easily than World Net Daily can. :-P~