My journalist friend Lia and I were discussing the differences between blogging and journalism and ones benefits over another. At first, we took sides, I believed in different opinions and people power hence blogging; Lia in facts and well-researched pieces.
While we agreed that at the end there is no right or wrong answer, and both blogging and journalism have their places in society, we still decided to write down why we love what we do.
Why I love blogging
Blogging is the outcome of democracy – an open society, where people contribute to overall discussions and choose their own source of information.
Blogging has broadened the marketplace of ideas by allowing more people’s voices to enter the discourse. I like the idea of paving my own way to be heard: gone are the days when you need a degree to show how credible you are as a writer. If your blog gets a ton of hits and you have thousands of followers on Twitter, you get taken seriously.
Here are the blogs, that make £2,500 – £18,000 a day:
The secret behind these great blogs is the fact that their founders are not only phenomenal writers, but also strategic entrepreneurs.
The blogger typically knows more about meta data, web traffic, social sharing mechanisms, and SEO — the very techniques that have paved traditional media’s biggest speed bump on its path into the digital age.
A journalist is obsessed with the truth. But what is truth? From philosophical point of view truth does not exist, because everything that is perceived through body and mind, is subjective as per the subject’s own perceptions, and is true to that extent only.
To be a journalist, you have to make your statements backed up by solid research, you have to pretend not to have a bias, but the truth is, you can’t separate the person from its bias. There are even scientific evidence pointing to that fact. As for ‘solid research’, there is plenty of contradicting research out there, all of it backed by some ‘solid science’. All you have to do is find the research that makes the point you’re trying to make, and ignore the other research. And you got yourself a seemingly well-researched article.
On the other hand, a typical blogger will write a story, admit their bias and proudly show their personality – something that is clearly absent from traditional news writing.
I am not anti-journalism – people will always want hard news stories, but they also want to know what these ‘facts’ mean, and the more opinions they get, the better picture it draws.
Bloggers are there to provide perspective – the most authentic way of information.
Hits and followers don’t mean that you are taken seriously. Revenue is not an indication of trust. Even the broadest audience doesn’t necessarily make you trustworthy.
Those blog examples mentioned above are okey, they have good pieces of journalism as well as the opinion.
Even in a more traditional newspaper, you can also find comments and opinion stories, so journalist having an opinion isn’t new.
Both opinion and facts have been around forever, it’s not something taken from the Internet, as many might think. It can be displayed in any format. There’s a lot information about communication (what’s information, what’s noise, what’s propaganda, how does it affect society, etc.). Here is Communication studies, that do research on media.
Coming back to opinion vs facts, I think it’s easier and cheaper to shout about your opinion than to provide information. That does not mean that you cannot lie with information, but our aim as journalists, is to provide good information, truth and cover those topics that matter to our audience in the most honest way possible.
What do you think? What do you love about blogging or journalism? And can they ever be compared?