Blogging Journalism, Cont’d

True enough:

I’m not one of those who say “blogs aren’t journalism”. A blog is
just a medium and a style of publishing. But a blogger is a journalist
only if he or she is doing journalism — verifying information
gathered, seeking response, avoiding conflicts of interest, and
otherwise following long-established rules of ethical behavior.

My problem comes when print and TV journalists sneer at political bloggers’ contributions to the discourse (a discourse, by the way, which looks like it could use contributing to pretty badly) by saying, “They’re not really journalists.” Which OH SNAP ignores the fact that quite a lot of us realize we’re not journalists, don’t want to be journalists, wouldn’t be journalists if you paid us (which you won’t) and generally just want to be smartasses on the Internet. Stop thinking it’s an insult if it doesn’t even apply. You might as well try to get to me by telling me I’ll never win a Grammy. Even my mom’s given up on that dream.

And speaking of raising the bar, it’s generally accepted practice in the blogosphere to give credit (via link, hat tip, etc) to where you found a story, as best you can. I’d like to see THAT practice adopted by mainstream journalists, so long as we’re exchanging rules and regs. Mostly because it would force TV stations to quit doing rip n read from whatever the local paper came up with that day, and force larger papers to acknowledge their use of smaller ones as basically tip sheets when they’re not stealing outright.


5 thoughts on “Blogging Journalism, Cont’d

  1. I wish that journalists could do simple arithmetic. For example, did you know that if we took the entire US yearly corn crop, and converted it to ethanol, it would meet only 21% of our current gasoline consumption? This doesn’t correct for the reduced energy density of ethanol, or for the fuel costs of distillation.
    I was curious, I started googling, found reputable estimates, and did the math.

  2. And if I may expand on my previous rant — given that, using the magic of arithmetic, we can see that there is no-way-no-how that ethanol will ever make it to even 50% of our liquid fuel supply, it seems to pretty obvious that whoever spent money on E85 anything in this coutnry (engines designed to burn fuel that is 85% ethanol, refineries to produce/mix it, etc) completely wasted their money. We can, and apparently do, mix up batches of fuel that are 85% ethanol, but that will never be all of our fuel, and in fact can never be more than 25% of our fuel, and we could just as easily swizzle that ethanol into the general fuel supply at 5 or 10 or whatever percent it is that replaces MTBE. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  3. While I’ll continue to ask how does one credential a blogger as a journalist…I also have to ask:
    considering the **ahem** hard hitting questions put to the Dem candidates in Pennsylvania (put to them by highly prestigious journalists):
    Hadn’t you rather come up with a title for a blogger who does REAL journalism – research, analysis, follow up?

  4. You mean people who don’t verify the information they gather, don’t avoid conflicts of interest and don’t seek responses aren’t real journalists? There’s going to be a lot of dead air and whitespace if that one ever gets taken seriously.

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