About The Project (Blogging versus Journalism)
The project was a collected resource of newspapers from daily papers in the state, region the United States, Canada, Iraq and Russia as well as some popular national journalism and media magazines. I had also taken a look at a couple of sports fan, baseball and national sports weblogs, too. After viewing these various sites, I would offer commentary concerning the blogging and mainstream journalistic of issues in the daily mainstream media, and how it affected our thinking in my posts. I would also attempt to correlate and link newspaper articles andother pertinent information to the project's weblog postings.
Mainstream print journalism has been heavily criticized because of issues dealing with a lack of respectability, printing outdated news and stories, lacking an effort in covering a story, laziness, writing too much fluff, not having enough hard news, writing with too much bias, low pay, writing and reporting with a lack of editorial savviness, creating controversy, employee bitterness, not spending enough money for new equipment to keep itself current and competitive in the technological era, being just a rag and much more. Every day, the print media seems to be the step-child among its media counterparts and the constant butt of jokes.
The project's goal was to explain the makings of well produced and published newspapers by comparing them with others throughout the state, region, country and world. I wanted to analyze the reasons for blogging, and to investigate if there should be a set of rules for the so-called amateurs we see blogging. It was important to try to answer if the media needs professional journalists covering the story, or should they employ bloggers who fling anything out into the universe without care of its ramifications. I looked at the headlines, the rhetoric used in the stories, editorial content, writers styles and differences in reporting the news, as well as looking at what's important to one paper and not the other. Most importantly I wanted to attempt to answer, how did the journalism bloggers write the story the real journalists missed?
I wanted to comment on the audience targeted and to discuss the educational level of the audience. I wanted to comment on the above mentioned newspapers on a rotating basis, using the internet and linking material that was beneficial in stregthening the the blogging presentation. It was my goal to show the reader even though blogging is important in getting the story out to the masses, it was important to make sure the accuracy and fairness was present.
My goal was to look for specific ideas pertaining to [Blogging versus Journalism] and to get an idea of what bloggers say about their profession. I wrote five to 20 posts per week, each between 50-300 words. At least two posts were from readings from Blog and journalism sites, Blogsites, Blog Readings for course and various blogs branching out from news media sites which were at least 50-300 words. Some readers commented on the ideas and opinions expressed by myself, and offered suggestions on how to improve my project and what was presented.
At the beginning of my project I professed, "If a balance can be achieved, there is great potential for publishers to operate and maintain an Internet blogging site successfully. The vast majority of media companies have missed the boat and readers are turning to amateurs, people with a deep knowledge about a niche subject, and others with a flair for writing or have interesting stories to tell - hundreds of thousands of bloggers who have become part of the media ecosystem. If the news media chooses to ignore it, it'll lose a connection with readers on an intimate daily basis. If not careful, the mainstream media as we know it will become a bit less relevant with each passing day."
After a semester of reading and grinding different theories in my mind, I find bloggers and main stream journalists will always have a place in their respective worlds.
Citizen Journalism (alias Participatory Journalism)
In my midterm reflection I vehemently stressed bloggers weren't journalists because an editor doesn't come between the reporter and reader. Being involved in a newsroom setting with an actual editor in command is the major factor distinguishing the journalist and blogger. I went on to say, that's what I used to think until actually becoming involved with my project and going through reams of copy on the subject of blogging versus journalism.
I discovered just as traditional journalism has made a big difference in political avenues (Bernstein-Woodward etc...), so has blogging on the Internet. There have been topics covered by bloggers on the Internet which has not seen the inside of a reporter's notebook,let alone prime space in a newspaper. Bloggers go where the traditional journalist fears to tread.
I was comfortable with the traditional and mainstream journalism brothers, but there was an argument on the other side I discovered which swayed me to the other side. Bloggers post news withheld by the mainstream media about a lot of things. An example is NBA star Kobe Bryant's accuser's identity in a Colorado rape trial. One didn't find it in a newspaper or on TV. There was an agreement there would be no publication of her name or picture. But where did it appear? On the Internet and bloggers had a field day with it.
A big part of the problem arising is there are ordinary people blogging the news. People without a degree or experience in the journalism field. They are getting the story more than the mainstream or traditional journalists.
Anybody can publish anything and that's what is sticking in the throats of the mainstream journalists. Bloggers have the ability to create personal news entities. The right to publish is a part of the First Amendment and the people are taking advantage of it. When ordinary citizens contribute photos, video and news updates to mainstream news outlets, many would argue they're doing journalism. When bloggers comment on and link to news stories, is that journalism?
Usually no...but it depends. When the blogger adds personal commentary relying on original research, or if it is done by someone considered an authority on the subject, some would consider it journalism. When these people conduct a phone interview with a newsworthy subject and post it to the Weblog -- or does some research to turn up the address, phone number and e-mail of an alleged rape victim, as a number of bloggers did in July -- some would consider these acts of journalism. Audience participation will become more widespread once mobile devices such as video-enabled phones -- which allow you to transmit text, photos and video directly over the phone -- become commonplace.
Blogging is nothing but selective journalism. My theory can be proven with recent events happening in the world as of late. Bloggers aren't concerned with the entire picture, only a piece of it. They focus and hammer on a subject mercilessly until it gags the reader. Look at what's happened with the steroid and baseball issues. That's all you hear on TV and see on the web. Look at the corruption of athletes who have used the steroids. What about athletes who have had accomplishments without steroids or drugs. It used to be baseball players smoked cigarettes, drank and chased women, but did their jobs when it came to playing the game. There was no one saying Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record because he used steroids. Now, they're saying Barry Bonds' records should have an asterik because of the drug issue. That's all we hear 24/7. We forget about the rest of the world. When there's bad news or controversy, bloggers are right there to flood the Internet with bad news. And you don't hear the whole story. Just selective tidbits. While mainstream journalists tend to be fair and balanced, and have the resources to do so.
The same can be said about the Presidential elections. The mainstream media has to be fair and impartial, but if there was dirt to be had, the bloggers found it and pecked away until they were blue in the face. Never mind hammering away at the policies of war, but peck away at Vietnam War records and something that happed 40 years ago. Again, selective journalism.
Participatory Journalism Categories:
There is a lot of audience participation at mainstream news outlets like Staff Weblogs, like those written by The Dallas Morning News' editorial board. All involve reader comments in their blogs, either through e-mails or direct postings. Now, this is a great idea because it helps the paper understand the media and the audience. It develops an important rapport and helps the paper become a strong entity in the community.
Newsroom-sanctioned weblogs written by outsiders, such as ABCnews.com's give presidential candidates their own blog. MSNBC and Fox News are included with discussion forums like Blogger Cafe. Online newspapers in the United States and Europe ask high school students, parents and fans to contribute to reporting about their schools' football, wrestling and other sporting events. These things are nothing but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and don't create insight as much as anger, and seem to be designed to fuel arguments and a banter of flaming namecalling, just as Rebecca Blood frowned against people doing.
There are photos, video and reports sent in by readers. The Dallas Morning News published readers' photos in its coverage of the space shuttle tragedy. The BBC has a standing page that uses photos e-mailed in by readers around the globe. The Santa Fe New Mexican publishes photos submitted by readers. The Providence (R.I.) Journal created a slide show of 130 images sent by readers of a spring blizzard. Australia's ABC News Online published reader write-ups and photos of devastating brushfires in Canberra.
A news station in Japan aired live coverage of a massive fatal accident from a citizen-reporter with a video-enabled cell phone. The witness called-in a report from the scene. They do this in the states, too, with weather-related items and news tidbits that couldn't be covered by mainstream journalists, but are interesting and newsworthy to be reported upon. Professional journalists are stretched and sometimes need the public's help.
In some cases, publications rely on well-versed amateurs or independent writers to provide original interviews, research and reporting. In other cases, the sites primarily generate editorial digests with varying degrees of commentary (Poynter.org's e-media tidbits and Romenesko). Some of these sites do journalism only in small pieces and only resemble journalism, while for others citizen reporting is their primary purpose.
There are strictly participatory news sites, where citizen-reporters contribute a significant amount of material. South Korea's OhmyNews? is the jewel of citizen journalism. A similar citizen-reported news site called JanJan? in Japan is modeling itself after OhmyNews?. Indymedia offers first-person reporting of political news with a subjective slant.
Collaborative and contributory media sites are vital to blogging Americans. These sites include Slashdot, Kuro5hin and Metafilter, which mesh Weblogs and discussion boards together, users contribute editorial content (some of which would be appropriate for a newspaper or magazine) as well as links to news stories and ratings.
Other community sites with mechanisms for self-publishing, self-ranking and self-organization include the collaborative newspaper RedPaper??, Plastic.com and Everything2, which describes itself as "a very complex online community with a focus to write, publish and edit a quality database of information, art and humor.
When one posts at these sites he/she joins not only a team of dedicated writers but an entire micro-society and community with its own pop culture, politics, beauty and blunders. Many of the smaller sites in this category tend to quickly fall away. The Vines Network and ThemeStream??, sites featured in The New York Times two years ago, have already disappeared. You are literally entering into a new dimension. A new Twilight Zone.
Other types of this media (if you can call it that) are mailing lists (Dave Farber’s Interesting-People, Firehair's Internet Native News and Issues List), e-mail newsletters (ThirdAge??’s Health Newsletter) and other digital media.
Personal broadcasting sites also have to be brought into the picture include both video broadcast sites such as Daytonabeach-live.com and audio sites like KenRadio??.com, where operator Ken Rutkowski conducts news interviews and pulls together a daily tech news report from various media sources. Other examples of participatory journalism seem to be cropping up all the time.
In the StudioITour?, my classmates liked the fact I posted hundreds of words and tried to link everything I posted. I wanted to make my posts to the point and attempt to eliminate wordiness. I attempted to mix up my posts, too. But I always tried to link one or two sites to which I talked about. My blog contained 40 or 50 newspapers and journalistic sites where my readers could themselves go to view the same links I was referring to in my postings. It gave readers the opportunity to view other newspapers and sites to learn about other areas and points of views they may be hearing about in Bemidji and the surrounding area.
Once I had success surfing and linking, and being able to have some good ideas, blogging was easy and enjoyable. It was something fun that I was not doing because it was a requirement for a class. There's a new world rising and I wanted to know more about it.
I found some gray areas "in order for there to be credibility among bloggers, as opposed to the credibility journalists build for themselves by having to check...and double check every piece of information Bloggers, journalists need some rules, bloggers must try to grasp those same standards that journalists do. There is always a stigma of intellectual dishonesty in a bloggers thought or writing Show me the context, baby!, Oct. 7th.
People are going online for news sources rather than purchasing print copies of the very same sources. In "On-line advertising killing traditional journalism" October 18th, "newspapers are fighting for survival when it comes to battling the ad dollars. If people are reading on-line, that means they aren't reading a particular newspaper, which means no ad avenue...the basis of the lifeblood for every newspaper. The journalists, and newspapers, are going to have to find their niche online so they can also use online advertising to their benefit" Oct. 18th.
A newspaper in Chile allows readers to go online to select the next day's news. That way this gives people what they want to read. What an innovative idea.
Blogging is the new wave of the future and it can be successful with some monitoring and having bloggers play by rules. Like I-Pods, video phones etc...blogging will be a piece of technology to help filter and make the lines of communication stronger. It will not replace the newspaper. Especially the hometown newspaper.
But we are society too busy to consistently read a paper. Everything we want, we want on a screen or pod. Speed and convenience will be the rule. We don't want to shuffle through newsprint to get the news all the time. We are heading to being a strictly electronic age of this medium. We'll subscribe to newspapers on the television. Like 24-hour newspaper on TV ~ that's how we'll get our news. We're practically there already with 24 hour sports channels, news channels and weather channels. But mainstream journalsim will survive the onslaught of comeptition spewed out by blogging and electronic journalism.
People are becoming interactive in the news. The major networks give average citizens the chance to comment on the news they are viewing every day. The mainstream journalism society is giving citizens the opportunity to send in their own news. They are offering Internet and web users a different view of the world. We are getitng a chance to see the whole picture, not just a piece of it as regulated by the mainstream.
I have attempted address and attack many subjects in this project. Personally, The most interesting subjects on my blog have been: Ethics in blogging and journalism, and the need for a code of ethics for blog journalists; Blogging and politics-role that blogs are playing in the campaign; Sports reporting and blogging; What it takes to be a blogger- ABC says it's simply a desire to write, but is that all? Conflicts between bloggers and traditional journalists, both newspaper and television (Brokaw likens blogging to "political jihad"); The media and trust and War blogging.
I attempted to tackle critical issues of credibility, and made sure posts were backed up with links to the articles or news sources focused upon. I drew on subjects talked about in class and enjoyed talking about what Rebecca Blood blood has to say on subjects.
I kept track of what journalist bloggers were thinking when it came to dealing with issues like the fact "weblogs were allowed to comment on any subject area without facing any repercussions," Used wisely, a weblog is a good tool, Oct. 4, an issue that many readers face when they are searching for alternate, but credible observations about certain topics.
There's a wealth of information on topics pertaining to the clash between bloggers and journalists. One article was "One more time: Journalism vs. Blogging which states that: The author says the difference between the two is journalism is prostitution and blogging is recreational sex. When you blog, according to the author, you do it when you want it, how you want it, and on what topic you want. You're hoping there is an audience out there to read what you get off on. Journalists have a lot of things to prove to people. There's the editor and the company management to please. You're actually writing what your editor thinks is important and do it in the format and manner inwhich he wants it. He is the most important part of the equation" Talking about blogging versus journalism.
One side claims "Blogging is not journalism" because the readers don't know who's credible and how is not, while the other side says, "with the advent of weblogging, the readers know more than the journalists." Blogging is not journalism", Oct. 7th
I tried to refute journalists who said blogging was a respectable form of public record by making it a respectable public record of their record. My links do make a strong argument. and I was fair and balanced in my critique. Selective journalism serves a purpose, but can not be compared to mainstream journalism in the same breath. In all fairness, however, blogging can be quite effective in the realm of communicating.
This semester, I took a different approach to writing. I invested a lot of time and energy into my efforts, and absorbed the knowledge I worked hard to find. My objectives were to be able to write something having some hint of structure. Something to help me in the next year as I go into the homestretch for my Masters thesis. I dove head first into my project to gather as much non-bias information as I could, and continued to reflect on the class along with the different writing assignments to show the affect it had on me being able to draw some final conclusions.
It would have been better to link sites to this wiki reflection, but I haven't found out how you can do it to make it clean. I have only talked and discussed my links. For a better understanding of what I did, and what my posts were about, it is reccommended the reader view my two blogging sites. To interact with the sites is to understand the real meaning of the [Blogging versus journalism] topic.
My background in journalism is considerable, but I have spent countless numbers of hours during the semester blogging, reading, linking and deciphering. I was leary about blogging at first, but I think (as does my wife) I'm a natural. I dillegently provided depth by giving my readers content and links -- lots of links -- relevant links. But as far as the future is concerned, I will venture into the world of wikis. I discovered while doing class assignments, this is the best scholarly educational tool for my purpose as a future teacher.
I'd like to think my background in journalism gave me the tools and knowledge to be objective, which was a sharp contrast compared to most of the daily-news blogs that we're reading in today's mainstream media world. This is an example of some of the objectivity I during the semester:
"I'm talking about name-calling and ads that impugn a candidate's motives, such as the ones implying that President Bush is lying when he says he won't institute a military draft or those that suggest Senator Kerry volunteered for Vietnam simply to pad his resume. We shouldn't confuse negativity, which is often justified and informative, with incivility, which isn't."
My research was about credibility in different forms of media.
"The election season brought a heightened awareness of what's fair, particularly in a close election as we are having this fall. Credibility — the trust of readers — is the most important asset."
I worked to gain trust with my readers by trying to finding sources they could [trust] before I passed information along. It's as if I was working at a newspaper again and wrote for my readers everyday. I hoped readers were asking these questions as I did along the path of my postings. Questions like: Do we trust the filtered and possibly manipulated product offered by the mass media? Do we trust the blogger that is actually in Iraq, but can write whatever they want with no reprecussive [fear] even if the facts are askew?
In blogging there is a face versus faceless aspect that was researched by myself. I think the audience will find out I have drawn some excellent and well-thought out conclusions as my project comes to an end.