Bloggers, Journalists or Bloggerists? May 1st, 2012
I had a Strawberry Shortcake diary when I was a kid. It was a handwritten (scented) record of my favorite songs, current crushes, hopes and dreams. Yeah, I may have followed the “Five Ws” formula, but I certainly wouldn’t have called myself a journalist. Possibly a talented storyteller (and doodler), but not a journalist. Since a blog, by its very definition, is a personal online diary, and bloggers are often expressing opinions which may or may not be characterized as unbiased reporting, it is my belief that not every blogger would be (or should be) considered a journalist. There is no expectation, for instance, that bloggers have done any fact checking to support their personal opinions—although they certainly may have done so. However, for those bloggers that do go out and conduct interviews, research topics, etc., the lines between blogging and journalism are most definitely blurred.
Weighing In: Must Bloggers Hold Professional Degrees in Journalism in Order to be Considered Bona Fide Journalists?
So what about credentials? Is this a valid line to draw? Some would argue it is. However, there are many professional journalists that provide unbiased news reports to the public, and they do not have journalism degrees. Therefore, this argument does not seem to hold up. When a blogger lives up to the same fact checking and ethical standards—providing the same fair and comprehensive accounts of events and issues that the press is expected to live up to—it is then that I believe they cross over from a blogger stating their opinion to a journalist reporting the news. Perhaps we should call them bloggerists?
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