The eternal question still burns in the minds and hearts of bloggers and editors: Is blogging journalism?
You know where we stand. And while the question can’t be definitively laid to rest elsewhere, this story on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer does a fair job at outlining the issue and is sprinkled with some provoking quotes:
Joshua Marshall, alltalkingpoints.com:
“Blogs sort of kept it (Trent Lott fiasco) from dying for a critical period, until the rest of the media paid attention.”
Joan Connell, Executive Producer, MSNBC.com:
“Narcissism, creativity, and a desire to connect with like-minded people. That is what journalism is all about, actually, in some ways… And I would submit that that(sic) editing function really is the factor that makes it journalism.”
“… Pretty soon this story (Trent Lott) gathered momentum enough in the blogosphere to shake the foundations of traditional journalism, and then the traditional news organizations jumped on board. But this was something that was very grass-roots.”
And that’s the point, isn’t it? Blogging is a form of participatory journalism. It’s bottom-up and without a master plan. It’s a form ideally-suited to the Internet, which enables conversations and connections to be made quickly and effortlessly. It’s always “grass-roots.”
When you democratize media powerful, unexpected things will happen. And while most conversations will not be worthy of primetime, the evidence that thousands of people are motivated to become commentators for millions is still an amazing thing.
In light of this, perhaps the journalism debate is moot. Perhaps we need a new name for this.
• Thoughts from Scott Knowles at WebSense.com, who was interviewed for this story: “There are different types of journalism. The journalism that blogging brings to the table is a singular person, gonzo style. In the flesh, without hierarchical control. And to the point of several in the story, blogging is participatory journalism. I would even call it conversational journalism.”
• Track what others are saying on Blogdex
• Fear of Linkimacy
I agree that blogging is a grass-roots effort. I can see where using this medium can cause change.