Posted on September 5, 2007
Journalists vs. bloggers: Round 16
Christopher Allbritton, a freelance journalist and former reporter for the AP and the New York Daily News, does not want us to call him a blogger. He does have a blog, but he is a journalist, and he wants to keep that distinction good and clear. You can read why in his blog post on the subject.
I have no argument with Allbritton. His post brought to mind an older post at another blog — a post I’ve assigned to my journalism students to read, as they prepare to launch their own blogs for my class.
Steve Johnson probably shouldn’t be called a blogger either — he’s written five successful nonfiction books, including Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (2005) and Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate (1997). Johnson wrote a post last year titled “Five things all sane people agree on about blogs and mainstream journalism,” and I’m requiring my students to read it so they don’t drive me crazy by writing about these things that have been written about a thousand times already.
Johnson’s post is quite short, so I’m only quoting one of the five items here:
(4) Professional, edited journalism will have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than blogging; examples of sloppy, offensive, factually incorrect, or tedious writing will be abundant in the blogosphere. But diamonds in that rough will be abundant as well.
It’s fine with me if Allbritton wants to emphasize that MOST blogs are NOT journalism. Equally fine if he hates to be called a blogger. I won’t call him one.
If you add up every word in one day’s newspaper, how many of them are journalism?
If you sort all the newspapers in the world into two stacks — good journalism in one stack, not good or not journalism in the other — which stack will be taller?
Some blogs have journalism in them some of the time. ’Nuff said.
(Link to Allbritton’s post via Martin Stabe.)