The debate about whether blogging is considered a journalistic practice or not is one that may actually result in a debate between two individuals. If we go back to when journalism was no where near being digital, back when social media didn’t exist or any other form of online outlets related to all things journalism existed, many would not have considered blogging a form of journalistic practice. However, now that online journalism keeps growing each day and is now more important than ever, blogging may very well contribute to the importance of the online medium in the world of journalism.
As blogger Chris Pirillo states himself in one of his posts entitled, Are Bloggers Journalists: Are Blogs New Journalism?, Pirillo certainly differentiates what he thinks the differences between a journalist and a blogger consist of. As he mentions, bloggers blog because they enjoy it and will talk about things that are specific and important to themselves. Journalists, on the other hand, get paid to report facts and are therefore labelled as journalists because it is their job. He also refers to blogging as new type of writing style and not necessarily a new type of journalism.
What we do know is that there is definitely a link between the two, and blogging can have just as much of an impact on individuals as a distinguished media platform such as television, radio, or print. For example, J.D Lasica provides examples in the article entitled Blogs and Journalism Need each other, of individuals providing their own personal coverage of events such as Super Bowl Sunday, peace demonstrations, and certain conferences that in some cases provided more information and coverage than other recognized media outlets. Lasica brings us an interesting point of how some of the public may actually refer to bloggers for information rather than go to another platform that may not provide as much detail or insight on a specific topic.
On the other hand, Wilson Lowrey presents the argument in his article Mapping the journalism-blogging relationship that blogging can potentially be harmful to journalism. The article mentions that blogging potentially exposes journalism’s weak points and in some cases tops journalism in terms of honesty, public attention, and relevancy. So which side of the debate is right?
As Jacob Friedman states in the article Blogging vs. Journalism: The Ongoing Debate, both opinions about the relationship between blogging and journalism have redeeming points. Yes, blogging can be looked at as an informal practice of journalism and therefore can be seen as not having that much of a strong relationship with the field. However, the view point that blogging can serve as a training ground for journalists also shows the existing strength and correlation between the two. Friedman mentions that blogging can serve as a teaching ground for journalists based on their ability to practice the coherency and organization of their ideas.
One thing is for sure, notable bloggers do exist. For example, wordpress.com provides a list of notable WordPress users found right here. Users such as The New York Times cover topics anywhere from finance, politics, sports, technology, and of course opinion. CNN also has their own blogging pages covering the latest news around the world along with the option of the public corresponding with their anchors and producers all over the globe. Even individuals in the music industry such as The Rolling Stones are active in the blogging world, promoting their music and life-long accomplishments.
All in all, and in my personal opinion, the world needs blogging. It is a form of freedom of speech, a chance to express our passions, concerns, thoughts, and emotions. Whose to say that blogging isn’t journalism or that journalism isn’t blogging?