According to a new study released by PR Week and PR Newswire, 52% percent of bloggers surveyed consider themselves journalists. This is an increase from 2009’s study, when just one in three had the same opinion.
No, no, no.
C’mon now. There are journalists and there are bloggers. And then there are journalists who blog, there are also bloggers who turn in a piece of journalism here and there.
But the two terms are absolutely not interchangeable – and that’s not a slight against either camp.
Journalists are responsible for the originality and truthfulness of what they put out. Bloggers may feel that they are and in many cases try even harder to maintain journalistic standards, but at the end of the day, they simply don’t have to. By the same token, the mainstream media is and has always been rife with errors, opinion masquerading as fact and disingenuousness deliberately employed to “sell a story”.
There are virtues and flaws with both blogging and journalism. I know, hardly a newsflash.
The good news is, there is room for both. No need to draw lines in the sand.
Will there be continued convergence of blogging and journalism? Of course. A highly successful example of this would be FT Alphaville– one of the bloggiest mainstream media offerings extant – adhering to both blogging principles (linking, excerpting, personality) and journalistic principles (fact-checking, attribution).
So no, I don’t pretend to be a journalist, even though I’ve written some journalism-worthy articles on this and other sites. You shouldn’t either – it’s just not the same thing yet.