Sunday, July 03, 2005

Blogging is not journalism

I'm now about eight days behind from my last Friday's blogger challenge. I'm getting there, but I have to weigh in on the MSM animosity before I lose the fire of my opinion.

Since first discovering blogs last year, I have seen these opinions fronted as if they were an inevitable reality:

- Mainstream Media is dying
- Blogs empower regular people whose voices are not represented by the MSM
- Blogs or a future likeness will someday rule the world.

I would just like to point out some facts that are somehow left out of said arguments:

- MSM is not dying, it's consolidating. One small newspaper is sure death, but 50 small newspapers with legions of underpaid, overworked journalists make for a nice regular dividend for thousands of investors.
- Blogs empower people as long as other bloggers are reading. I don't know many non-bloggers who even read or know what a blog is.
- Bloggers that become popular don't remain "sola bloga" for long. They join the MSM in some fashion (see Simmons, Bill).

This does not look like a media revolution to me. While blogging may someday take on more importance, right now it remains a blip on the radar compared to the stretch of influence by billion-dollar media giants. My former employer, Gannett, doesn't blink in purchasing $400 million newspapers. I don't think I threaten them.

A bigger beef I have with this argument is the notion that what we do here in the blogosphere represents some kind of journalism. Ahem.

Joke all you want about inaccurate journalism and the liars who make up the industry, the mainstream media as a group is overwhelmingly obsessed with the facts and the truth. You may have some beef with a self-righteous columnist or big-haired TV personality, but the average newspaper reporter is more sold-out on accuracy than a person in the same position 100 years ago. They didn't even have a full concept of fairness or accuracy in newspapers 100 years ago.

Bloggers? This is not journalism. This is column writing with the occasional reference to the truth. And where do bloggers go for truth? Mainstream media and online newspapers.

How ironic.

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