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Are Bloggers Journalistic?

I have a few things for bloggers to toss around inside their brain for a few moments. It is something many of us do not think about, but then again, do we actually need to follow a set of rules? Regardless, the question is—are bloggers journalistic?

But first, what is Journalism? Journalism as defined by Wikipedia:

Journalism is the discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news, and broadly it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles. Journalism applies to various media, but is not limited to newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.

The Journalist’s Creed as originally written by Walter Williams:

  • I believe in the profession of journalism.
  • I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.
  • I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.
  • I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.
  • I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.
  • I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.
  • I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.
  • I believe that the journalism which succeeds best — and best deserves success — fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

Here are the questions. Are bloggers journalistic in nature? Do you believe that bloggers should adopt the Journalist’s Creed? Do you consider yourself journalistic? Do you believe that bloggers should create their own creed?

What say you?

Author: jamesm

7 thoughts on “Are Bloggers Journalistic?

  1. blog never to be a journalist.

    Personally, I feel that bloggers are at their best when they are not trying to be journalists. I want to here from bloggers for their philosophical wisdom on a topic. I want the subjective perspectives. I want to understand how a tool may be used or the pitfalls of using it poorly.

    I want to learn a subjective view. When I want an object lesson, I crack open a text book or perform my own primary research.

    So as a blogger, I work very hard to never try and work like I am a journalist. And just as Jeff F accidentally broke his own axiom, by blogging his opinion on journalists blogging, I too sometimes break my own rule and break news objectively.

    Hey yah know, blog news happens. You live with it.

  2. A journalist, in a “perfect world,” is called upon to present both sides of an issue, regardless of whether he agrees with one argument over another. A journalist must be able to question opposing sides of hot topics and present the statements and the facts, so as to allow the readers to draw their own conclusions, based on the facts as stated.

    For that reason, I (as a journalist) will never blog, because it compromises my sense of impartiality.

    Journalists who do blog often express personal opinions about the very topics/beats they cover. How could they then come back and interview a person that they may have just criticized or slammed in a blog, and do so with a clear conscience? How would a subject feel, being interviewed by a journalist who just blogged that he/she is wrong, is unqualified or is guilty?

    Blogging goes against the journalistic creed. Bloggers are simply expressing an opinion; I rarely, if ever, let my opinion slip into the articles I write. That’s by design, that’s the way I was taught to write … even though my personal opinion about a topic may rest completely with “one side of the issue” over the other. But mu opinion will never be seen in anything I write.

    Blogging is not journalism. Blogging more mirrors gossip than journalism. Just beacuse someone can string 5 words together and form a cohseive sentence does not make that person a journalist, any more than someone who can change their vehicle’s oil is now a mechanic, or someone who puts on a Band-aid is a doctor.

  3. > Journalism involves occasionally documenting things

    Best point so far.

  4. Journalism involves occasionally documenting things other than your own personal points of view. This is why blogging isn’t even close to journalism.

    … and why journalism isn’t even close to what journalism used to be.

  5. I think most bloggers are more stream of consciousness writers than journalistic writers. I have not found much journalese on any of the blogs I have read.
    Bloggers write more like they are sitting talking to someone and I find this much more enjoyable than the writing of most journalists.

  6. …there is a war about the usefulness of twitter going on w/the performancing writers! and….I think you started it :p

  7. Oh yeah, since I’ve been told that Performancing is having a Twitter war as so nicely stated by my girlfriend, “lmao…battle over the usefulness of twitter from the writers of Performancing …pretty kinda funny,” I should note that I tweeted about this post!

    Oh, and please let me know what you think about journalism and blogging!

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