"Folks, journalism is a craft. It takes a lot of time to learn to do
well. There are rules, written and unwritten, that are applied. Laws
that matter. Experience that you have to earn. Journalism – good
journalism – is really, really hard.
Blogging, like you’re reading now, is not hard. It’s not supposed to
be. A lot of people have worked very hard to make blogging as easy as
typing a thought and hitting a button. That’s the beauty of blogging –
anyone can do it, about anything.
So again I say: Please, for the love of all that’s good and holy, do NOT turn bloggers into journalists!"
Derek Powazek, Bloggers Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Journalists
6 thoughts on “I am not a journalist, I’m a writer.”
It seems to me that Blogging is simply too large a term. Blogs are a media format like books or magazines. Being a blogger shouldn’t mean that you’re a journalist or that you’re not a journalist any more than being an emailer makes you a direct-marketer or not.
There are plenty of people out there who have blogs and use them as an outlet for journalism, and in the end I suppose the question is whether someone is a journalist because they see themselves as a journalist or because other people do. In any case their choice of publishing software (photocopier, linotronic, Dreamweaver, TypePad, or Storyserver) shouldn’t determine their journalistic status.
I have to agree with what Kevin says here. Of course, I don’t know what inspired your original posting.
I do know quite a few people who are doing excellent journalism via blogs, and in a day where corporate control of the media makes it very difficult for many professional journalists to do good journalism in the commercial media, I’m deeply grateful for blogs providing a readily-available (to them and to me) format.
But I certainly wouldn’t want to eliminate personal commentary blogs, fun blogs. Dinah, say more — what sparked your comment?
I was quoting Derek. Looks like that fact and the link to his post weren’t obvious enough. I’ve added quotemarks.
I think his post was a reaction to the zombie-like resurgence of the Blogging/Journalism debate. Also there was a momentary panic here in SF where the city council was debating forcing certain folks to file statements about their affliation and income with the city Ethics Commission or some such. There was a kerfluffle before it was decided that blogs are a recognized news source and, as such, would be exempt.
I very much like your comment, Kevin. It’s a medium, not a style or profession. The emailer analogy is very good.
And frankly, while I don’t read a paper regularly (I know, I am an unwashed heathen) I do read Kottke.org every day. Maybe he’s a journalist, maybe he isn’t, but his editorial choices and written voice are highly satisfying whichever side of the line you put him on.
i have to say that blogging and journalism are not necessarily mutual exclusive. journalism has a set of rules that have to be adhered to. a blog is just a medium of publishing. i guess the only thing to me that is a less traditional is that blog journalism is less edited and fact-checked because of the frequency of updates…
you say, “I am not a journalist, I’m a writer. Folks, journalism is a craft. It takes a lot of time to learn to do well….”
are you saying that writing is not a craft and does not take time to learn to do well?
No, I’m saying it’s not the same as journalism and a blog could be used for either or for something else.