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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Tuesday April 16, 2002
11:58 PM

Are blogs journalism?

[ #4262 ]
It's the height of self-puffing windbaggery--all the webloggers warbling on about whether or not blogging is journalism. I stand aloof and pretend I'm not a part of that community, therefore I can unhypocritically slam the discussion while simultaneously participating. My random thoughts:
  • I agree with Scoble
  • Journalism in the sense of journals, or journalism in the sense of reporting, or journalism in the sense of newspapers?
  • Insert long winded egopuff comparing blogs to pamphleteers, 19C essayists, etc.
  • Most blogs, like most bloggers, are boring.
  • Different people find different things boring.
  • Newspapers function as a rating unit--by aggregating and filtering and biasing their reporting a certain way, you know what you're getting (e.g., WSJ is always ultra-right ultra-capitalist thought) and can adjust grains of salt accordingly.
  • Blogs will never replace newspapers because bloggers don't do the footwork (see Scoble above), don't cover a wide enough variety of news, and aggregating blogs doesn't give you a consistent political opinion to reweight.


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  • I wonder what would happen if there was a blog editor - someone who compiled interesting blog entries. Or similar.

    I guess you'd end up with Slashdot or other such sites. =)
      ---ict / Spoon
    • ISTR reading a short piece in Wired, back in the 1.0* days when it was almost good. Under the title It's the context, stupid the author discussed just that idea, positing that there would be people who wouldn't produce new content but would instead provide a context, or a point of view, gathering 'the best' (in their view).

      And that's already happened. Slashdot's frontpage does just that, so does use.perl, so do the people who 'build' the frontpage at Perlmonks. And we value those people for it.

      I'm not sur
      • Re:Editors (Score:2, Insightful)

        [Warning: I got my degree in journalism, and I never took a class in computers in my life. If I am known to ramble about programming issues, which I never studied formally ... look out below!]

        No, it doesn't make them journalists. It makes them editors. Traditionally, editors all started out for many years as journalists. This is no longer the case. :-)

        As far as U.S. law is concerned, any publication falls under the "press," and entitled to First Amendment protections. But we don't look to U.S. law to
        • I would tend to agree with your definition. A perhaps more succinct one that I've often seen used here in France (admittedly in journalism, history, and politics courses or from people that follow them) defines journalism as the building of an event (la construction d'un évènement).

          The idea here is that raw data is unusable (there was fighting at the Church of Nativity, meanwhile my grandfather was snoring deeply and a beautiful cloud drifted accross the sky -- I'm overdoing it, but you g


          -- Robin Berjon []

        • Of course, journalism doesn't have to be about politics or "hard" news. It doesn't have to be about anything important at all. But it does require more than a link to the Guardian and some commentary about how stupid Americans are. ;-)

          That's unfair and you know it, Pudge. The Guardian makes fun of stupid Aussies too.

          • The Guardian makes fun of everyone, except the royal familty. Mind you, they didn't lower their flag when the queen mum went.
              ---ict / Spoon
  • Some bloggers are journalists, but not all.
    Some bloggers are columnists, but not all.
    Some bloggers are essayists, but not all.
    Some bloggers are diarists, but not all.
    Some bloggers are egotistical wankers...

    Categorization is left as an exercise for the interested reader.
  • These same arguments came out about a decade ago, talking about IRC. Once on some channel somewhere there was a Croatian who was able to discuss in real time what the Serbs were doing in his hometown, and do it unfiltered on IRC.

    That makes IRC a set of news networks in the same way that blogs make bloggers journalists. We'll likely see the same tired argument resurface in a few years when another person-to-person medium of communication (broadcasting SMS?) becomes popular.

  • Have to be a 'revolution []'. It used to be that keeping a diary was something only little girls did along with bridget jones....why does putting it up on the web make it into a 'revolution' or 'journalism'.