What’s the difference between a blogger and a journalist?
This question has come up a lot lately, especially with the recent lawsuit brought by investigative blogger Crystal Cox. She was sued for $2.5 million for defamation because she was not protected by the same defenses that journalists receive when they go to court.
This is a question I’ve also been thinking about after a recent trip to Sweden, where both bloggers and journalists took part in a press trip together.
I’m writing a blog and studying journalism at the same time, so I feel like I have one foot in both industries. At first, I didn’t realize there was such a debatable gulf between the two professions, but as print publications plunge into the world of social media, blogging, and multimedia interactivity, it seems as if they It looks like they are merging and will be merging soon. Collision in the middle.
Bloggers like to emphasize that what we do is actually very similar to journalists, but journalists are not as keen on associations.
In my journalism course, blogging is rarely discussed. That’s despite the fact that blogging is the best way for journalism apprentices to get their name out there. Our tutor has little knowledge about blogging. Their “blogging has nothing to do with journalism” attitude is what keeps many print publications stuck in the dark ages.
I’m not saying blogging and journalism are the same. Because it’s actually not. But as the lines between online and print journalists merge and print gradually disappears, why not work together and learn from each other to create a stronger industry of multimedia professionals? Or?
Traditional journalists can learn a lot about the immediacy and interactivity that social media and bloggers can provide, but bloggers also have a lot to learn from journalists.
Journalists are (mostly) respected for the research their work involves and the high standards each article must pass. I know that writing a blog isn’t about digging through history books to get old references and quotations, but that doesn’t mean you should do your homework and make sure your work is of a high standard. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
So how did bloggers and journalists interact during my trip to Sweden?
#Visit Skane Share biscuits
Some thought it was strange for both journalists and bloggers to be on the same trip together. It almost seemed like we should be competing with each other, but most people thought it was a great thing and a sign that bloggers and journalists were slowly coming together.
I was really excited to have the opportunity to be close to experts (I didn’t care if they were journalists or bloggers), pick their brains, and pick up some tips. I’m so grateful to Abi, Kash, and Chris who really helped me. And he gave me great advice.
One journalist on the trip was very “old school” journalism. She didn’t have a cell phone and only carried a small notepad and pen. She was both fascinated and horrified by our obsession with her Twitter and Facebook, but she was interested in seeing how it played out.
I’m so glad I took her on the trip. She reminded me that sometimes you need to put down your camera and phone and just experience a place. Sometimes you’ll find the best stories if you grab a notepad and a pen and write them down the old-fashioned way.
Many people are intimidated by gadgets and gadgets, but with a friendly smile and trusty moleskin, you’ll be just fine.
What other ways do you think bloggers and journalists can learn from each other?