Journalists research . . . and then write.
OK, now that we got my “answer” to the title question out of the way without any introductory fanfare, let’s chat for a moment about the context of this post:
1) I’m pumped up about beginning to teach my online course in Social Media for Journalists this semester.
2) I just got back from a winter break vacation during which I published three posts prepared in advance and one that “came to me” after I’d commented on Adam Singer’s article “The Critical Few”; click on HOME page to see all three [below this post].
3) It’s the new year and I’m trying to publish more often, which is one reason I started “Briefly Stated” posts. Sometimes More is More, but lots of times Less is More.
4) There’s buzz about Chris Brogan’s program to supply bloggers with blog topics, and there’s an equal amount of buzz from bloggers saying they have plenty to talk about, but not enough time to do it.
So here’s some of my thinking:
Long ago in a creative writing course I was told that any writing worth reading can stand the test of time; Homer reportedly taught that one should put away a piece of writing for nine years; if it was still important, interesting, and useful after that hiatus, then one should refine it and publish it.
Blog posts can be “evergreen,” i.e., relevant beyond the day of publication. Many bloggers publish their Best of the Year posts. Book publishers look for works that will continue to resonate with readers. Withstanding the test of time is a critical component to quality.
But what does all this have to do with the One Difference between Bloggers and Journalists?
Well, first off, the only reason for a title like that is to encourage discussion — beginning with the fact that lots of journalists are bloggers. The terms blogger and journalist are not mutually exclusive. The main point I wanted to “put out there” was that when a journalist blogs as a journalist he or she ought to adhere to solid journalistic principles, which include a degree of objectivity; adherence to fact not opinion [unless quoting someone else's opinion]; and writing that is concise, clear, and as free from error as possible.
What do you think?