Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Give Rebecca Blood some credit

Usually, I don't really respect a blogger trekkies' opinion about journalism. I believe those who are involved in the journalism game 24/7 should be the experts who speak on the subject. But blood does make some excellent points in a paper she wrote about the differences between blogging and journalism, which made me understand the difference between the two. I have to agree with Blood when she insists that the media is moving into a "new age of dissemination." To not accept this fact would be to look a blind-eye to the future in respect to the written word and mass media.
For me it's just too easy to for bloggers to publish. They have to know the difference bwteen blgging and personal publishing. They have to understand what amateur journalism is all about.
The best thing about blogging as Blood seems to say, and I agree, is the hypertext used. It summarazies blogging journalism and puts it into a quick text. Links to primary texts are used. This is impossible with the print media, unless you can purchases many other newspaperts. But bloiggers can put you into another text that compliments and strengthens what the blogger is writing about. A blogger can put you on-line with any source they want, which is great because there are always times when you want to look at another writer's look at a subject. That means one has to put down the source they are currently engaged in and go into another source. A lot of shuffling of papers can be eliminated.
But Blood makes another key point that if a blogger doesn't link to other sources to strengthen their idea, they are being intellectually dishonest. You have to be accountable for your information and this is what journalists are.
She also says, "it's the practice that defines the practice." Journalists go through a lot of hoops to get their story...an accurate story. A blogger doesn't go through the time nor patience of fact finding. They just come out with an opinion and that's that.
I like what Blood adds that blogging will never replace the mandate of fair, accurate and the complexity journalism has. It's these three things that's understood by the audience that makes journalism what it is.
In blogging, eyewitness accounts are also the big thing. This is where things get a little dicey, too. A blogger puts their first impressions down. The excitement may get in the way of finding out what realkly happened. Accuracy is blurred. A journalist has to look at all the facts. The whole story and report and both sides. A blogger produces just their side of the story or event.
Journalists have to go through an editor, while weblogs don't necessarily have to have an editor that goes through a story with a fine-tooth comb. This is a big difference in blogging and journalism. A journalists story is refined with editing to present order, while a blogger has no one to go through the story for details that were left out or put in that should have been left out.
The journalist has a a much better flowing story than the blogger.
Bloggers are like writers of the Letters to The Editors, who write opinions. Journalists speaks to witnesses and experts. These are usually not available to bloggers, who have to second-guess in their stories.
I also have to agree with Blood when she defines blogging versus journalism as blogging being "participatory media".
They are involved, but not as much as the journalists. Blogegrs don't usually provide original journalistic writing. And journalists are always edited. They work for a company, while most webloggers work for themselves.
As Blood said, "Weblogs will mainstream journalism, but you just can't apply the same standards to journalism and blogging."
The big thing for journalism, though, is that bloggers will be able to analyze what's being spewed through the mass media and will be able to supplement this information.
I do believe that blogging will be the new journalism in respect to reporters not having to work on laptops or in the office. Everything will be sent to the paper electronically. Eventually, we may not even see paper. We may be buying nbewspaper subscriptions on the television and reporters, after going through a blogging manager, will be viewed on the screen with constant updates. We no longer will have to wait for the afternoon or evening edition of the paper, or have to watch the evening news.
The news, literally, will be coming at us the moment it happens and is reported.

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