“Is anyone with a blog a journalist? Is anyone with a camera a photographer? What happens to journalism when every reader can also be a writer, editor, and producer? These are but some of the questions long debated in both the blogosphere and in journalism, and still no clear concensus has emerged.” -Brian Carroll
Carroll poses a great question for his readers to ponder upon and there are multiple interpretations that can be made to answer without a clear-cut “answer”, making it right nor wrong. My understanding of journalism is the gathering, processing, and circulation of news, and information that correlates to news to an audience. Unlike journalism, I believe blogging originally, began as a medium to express oneself through thoughts. Essentially, it began through writing (via journals/diaries) but as technological advancements continued to make strides in society, blogging became available to take place digitally and publicly on the internet. Both mechanisms of writing and producing content for an audience is writing out loud so to speak but the moral compass is entirely different.
For bloggers, the deadline for content is always instant. It entails more free-will, more accident-prone, more alive, and less formal. Journalism consists of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability which is undoubtedly easier said than done. In order to provide newsworthy content, these attributions must be considered first. Therefore, bloggers who consider themselves journalists cannot sit on their computers all day but they have to go out and interview sources, investigate, and then explain what they’ve understood from all the information gathered. I digress that opinion is not journalism.
The question of whether anyone with a blog is a journalist I think, has been blurred by time to an extent. Blogging has broadened the digital space of ideas by allowing a multiplicity of individuals’ voices to enter discourse communities: blogging and journalism are two very distinct entities. Much of the blogging world has little interest in what you can call proper journalism. A large proportion of the blogosphere is still dominated by opinion-based writing.
People can argue that journalists claim to be the only useful writers found because people want the hard facts but what people also want is prospective along with the facts. Blogging may well be a step along the road to becoming a journalist. By choosing to write on things that bloggers are passionate about such as beauty, fashion, or food. If a blog gets a ton of hits with thousands of followers, it is without a doubt taken seriously. For instance, one of the biggest fashion blogs out there is Fashionbombdaily.com, where viewers can find the latest on multicultural fashion with nearly 2.4 million visitors. Blogging can be said to equal to journalism with the addition of opinion. Because of the quality of the site’s coverage, their following continues to strengthen thereby encouraging readers to look to the site for takes on fashion news and stories, along with magazine coverage, fashion show reviews, trends, wardrobe advice, celebrity looks for less, and tips on how to break into the industry from the best in the business. The woman behind the site, Claire Sulmers clearly tracks down sources, does investigative reporting, and presents the facts clearly and fairly, she is a journalist with an outstanding blog. Like Josh Micah Marshall’s “The Telling Points Memo”, Fashion Bomb Daily paved the way for “blogging as journalism, or at least established that blogging and the mission of journalism are not necessarily at odds or in any way mutually exclusive” (Carroll 175).