April 17, 2014
Addressing the issues of journalism and blogging can be quite tricky. The negative connotations lent to citizen journalism make it hard for bloggers to be taken seriously. However, many blogs are run by renowned journalists and apply the tools of the trade learned in journalism schools across the country. So to answer the question if bloggers are journalists: yes… and no. It all depends on your answer of what a journalist really is.
Why all bloggers are journalists
If a journalist is simply someone that writes, every blogger is a journalist. Blogs are written; therefore the bloggers that write them can carry the title of a journalist. If a journalist is someone that spreads news, every blogger is a journalist. News can mean many things to many different people, but what you write about will always matter to one person, making it news. Similar to newspaper and magazine articles, blogs vary widely in topics. Niche markets can also be very popular with both bloggers and print journalists, making even the smallest population of consumers happy.
Why all bloggers are not journalists
As I have previously stated, blogs are easy for anyone and a good starter tool. This includes people that are not well versed in the forms of AP Style, how to format a blog and grammar rules. This leads to blogs and citizen journalism having an unprofessional connotation. This assumption of unprofessional writing does not bode well with the professional journalists of the world. However, what is a journalist? If a journalist is someone that has taken classes and graduated from a journalism school, while having professional training, all bloggers are not journalists. The negative connotation that comes with citizen journalism has a lot to do with journalists in the sense that they went to a journalism school and worked hard for their degree – unlike some citizen journalists. The notion that citizen journalists can do the same work as a trained journalist is ridiculous to someone that has endured 4+ years of training for a career in Journalism.
Overall, it can be hard to distinguish whether a blogger is a journalist. When it comes down to it, just look at the writing and content presented. If you find it professional, it doesn’t really matter whether that person attended a journalism school. Above all, listen to your gut and don’t back down when discussing what you truly believe in. After all, your most important client is yourself.
Gentry Bennet is a freshman studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @Gen_andTonic.