Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why some Journalists hate blogs

The reason why some (ok, many) and other assorted media players hate blogs is not that bloggers represent inaccurate and under researched writing, which is true in many cases. The enlightened writer simply reads all that he/she can, gathering all points of view on the subject at hand.

The reason why some (ok, many) journalists and other assorted media players hate blogs is not that bloggers, like Jon Stewart and his "Daily Show" have a "voice", something that many journalists are simply not encouraged to exercise by their masters.

In a WSJ article, writer Tom Wolfe rejected blogs based on a single inaccuracy in a Wikipedia article on himself - blogging is a victim of gross generalization, you might say. There are many bloggers who are excellent writers, uncovering the truth or sharing their experiences, among other things.

Writing in the Guardian, Scott Rosenberg, co-founder of pioneering online magazine, points out that Tom Wolfe was himself one of the pioneers of new journalism in the 60s, which encourages journalists to use their personal voice, something that bloggers do all the time.

Scott writes,
Today, the blog - with its links, reader comments and archive page for each post - feels obvious and intuitive. It's the default format for a website. Companies use blogs to open conversations with customers and among employees. Individuals use them to pursue obsessions, jumpstart careers or chronicle their lives for family and friends.

The reason why some (ok, many) journalists and other assorted media players hate blogs is FEAR. Like their bosses in air-conditioned offices and glitzy parties golf clubs around the world, journalists don't know how blogging might affect their jobs.

Scott says,
(journalists) write articles about whether blogging can be journalism, we worry about whether bloggers can or will replace journalists, and we miss the real stories.

FEAR stems from ignorance. Knowing that prevailing media trend is towards an online, digital format, journalists can be proactive and invest in retooling - understanding how things like, blogs, online video, etc work.

That is one way to deal with this FEAR. The other is to focus on solid reporting - engaging the reader.

Being 500th journalist to cover Lindsay Lohan (aka LL ) while she gets out of the courthouse won't do, I guess.

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