Is blogging journalism?

April 27, 2010

“Ultimately, then, bloggers may be linked intricately with mainstream journalism, in fact, this might lead to a situation which could be described as schizophrenic rather than symbiotic, as such blogger/journalists must contend with the conflicting ethics and values of their two news publishing environments.” –Axel Burns

In the article, an argument that bloggers “are more than just ticks and dung beetles feeding off of their journalist hosts.” This is absolutely absurd. I read the news as well as blogs. I don’t feel that bloggers steal and leech off of “real” news sources. Though I can agree the jobs of bloggers versus journalists are completely different.

Writing with the expectation that your piece will be in a newspaper or a magazine is different for writing for a blog. There are different standards, definitely. For a piece to be in print, representative of a publishing company, it needs to be well written, well sourced, and very accurate. I feel that is the main difference between writing for a print source and an online source.

With a blog, you can cite another news source while writing your article, leave out quotes, and borrow pictures. People might think this is stealing, but I feel bloggers just spread the word. If I read something interesting on a blog, I’ll go directly to the first source of information for more.

And, bloggers are creative in the way they write; that’s pretty much why people visit blogs and read their stories. It’s a quick way to get your news during your busy day.

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THURSDAY APRIL 29, 2010 12:06 p.m. update

So, I was in the last night to get celebratory milkshakes with a friend who recently got a job when another friend who was in the car was telling me how he read an article about how blogging is not journalism and how that sentiment was recently renewed by the happenings with Gizmodo and the lost Apple iPhone 4G.

Well, needless to say I looked it up and am going to argue it right now.

In this Betanews article, Joe Wilcox says Gizmodo was wrong for paying money for the lost iPhone prototype. At Gizmodo, they leaked video and photos of the new-gen phone while listing new features of the phone. As most of us know, Apple is very very successful with keeping the hype of their new products by releasing nothing. Allowing them to be the first jobs to break the word–think the wildly tuned in iPad conference that people tuned in to blogs for minute-to-minute updates.

Wilcox says: “Perhaps this marks the distinction between bloggers and journalists. I would have contacted Apple about returning a device so obviously stolen. There is grave difference between obtaining secret information for the public good and what Gizmodo did: Obtain property containing trade secrets belonging to a public company. Gizmodo has violated the public trust and broken the law. Free speech isn’t a right to pay freely for something clearly stolen.”

I mean, I don’t think it’s right to support Checkbook Journalism because as a journalist I strongly uphold to ethics. I will not pay for a source because ultimately when money is involved there’s room for ugliness. There is no longer objectivity or neutral circumstances. That is basic journalism.

However, if I received the iPhone in the mail or on my doorstep I would contemplate releasing it on to the Web. But, I don’t think Gizmodo did anything wrong in releasing in the photos and videos. I mean that’s what they’re expected to do. They tailor to the die-hard tech fans who expect them to provide the first scoop. How they got the phone might have been questionable, but this is definitely breaking news.. it’s journalism. It’s a new form. People who speak against this evolution of news will be left behind.

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