Bloggers vs Journalists or the Best of Both Worlds?
We know blogging is a very powerful tool, and I have lived with this realization since the Tsunamis struck. But power without restraint, responsibility and maturity can be really really dangerous. There is a case for more responsibility and ethics for bloggers - bloggers have been known to pass sentences in mob justice.Darryl D'Monte one of our more respected journalists asks, are bloggers parked:
"When does a writer become a blogger? This is a question that is familiar to anyone who uses a keyboard these days, but the obverse question isn't as familiar: when does a blogger become a writer? At a recent workshop on effective writing on the web, organized by The New Media initiative of the Mumbai-based Comet Media Foundation, the inveterate blogger, Dina Mehta, asked this latter question bluntly, and implied in response that there is no difference between the two. Many old media hands and creative writers, however, begged to differ.
"....... At the same time, it is true that with the mainstream media dumbing down with a vengeance and looking to their bottom line rather than people who live at the bottom, bloggers are very much in business. They are telling it like it is, rather than what media barons decide is politically or commercially more convenient. In the US, the war in Iraq is condemned far more pungently in blogs. But blogs aren't about to destroy conventional media anytime soon"
When asked, I always say I am not a journalist, I am a blogger. There are rubs - professional bloggers increasingly want to make some money off blogging. Still, the long tail of blogging remains quite personal for most bloggers, with the exception of a few. Then, there are more and more journalists who are becoming good bloggers - I think it helps them at what they do.
Yet, there is a distinction in my mind - blog media is about rub points and conversations, it is about writing out loud and learning, it is about reporting in real voices in real time. Blog media can be individual or group perspectives, most tend to be independent voices, the only community that is formed is in the links, whereas MSM is about reporting on facts or interviews within the context of a newspaper or station or media empire.
I'd love to hear you views on these issues, not just in preparation for the session, but also because these are issues we are being faced with increasingly.
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