What’s one difference between a blogger and a journalist?

Filed in Blogging , Journalism , Sharisax Is Out There 54 comments

Bloggers do like I’m doing right now — write my thoughts just after they come to me.

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?

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   21 January 2011
Tags : , , ,
Jan 21, 2011
4:06 pm

Journalists who move from beat reporting to editorial page positions or who become columnists are writing their opinions but they are still journalists.

Author Jan 21, 2011
5:51 pm

Of course, Barbara, you are absolutely correct. Thanks for adding your clarification.

Author Jan 21, 2011
11:49 pm

From LinkedIn Group: Online Reporters & Editors:
Steve Huff:
I think this is a rapidly evolving subject and my answer is they’re just no longer nearly as different as they once were. I began as a blogger who approached my subject like a journalist and that led to work as a journalist. Many journalists are leaving newspapers and going to big blogs, like HuffPo. I am certain that many old school journalists (and I use the term old school more literally here, with no sarcasm intended) will tell you the two will never be the same, but in a few years, I think more people than not will consider them indistinguishable from one another.

That said, journalists in recent years have done a good job of turning “blogger” into a pejorative. I don’t think they’ve completely succeeded, but even though I began as a blogger just working on a site I started for kicks, since I began writing & reporting for pay I’ve caught myself referring to bloggers and treating bloggers as lesser sources–basically beginning to see how professional journos arrived at their perspective on bloggers.

The gist? To me, this is still a pretty complicated discussion. Journalist vs. blogger IS still a dichotomy, yes. Just not nearly as much as it was even 5 years ago.

Nehul Jagdish Kumar: credibilty and balance in his story. Journalist responsibilty towards his writing

Scott Green: Right now I do two blogs on paying markets for poetry, http://www.greengenrepoetry.blogspot.com and http://www.examiner.com . I do both reporting on the subject and commenting on it.Blogging describes the medium I am working in; it does not describe what I am as a writer.

Ohyaycom News: Reporting a story means assembling the available facts and presenting them in an informative, and hopefully entertaining, way. It is generally meant to be balanced and objective, and should present both sides (or more) of any argument. That is journalism.

I see blogging as a way of presenting a personal opinion — much like a newspaper’s Editorial column, which may be about something in the news. An editorial is comment, not news.


Judith Backover: A journalist may choose to write a blog, but a blogger is not (usually) a journalist. Similarly, few if any blogs are journalism, even if written by journalists.

Author Jan 22, 2011
12:17 am

From LinkedIn group Blogs/Blogs/Blogs:

Paul Odtaa: A tough one to answer Shari.

I think you’re right in saying that bloggers, well the majority, do just write down their thoughts directly to the blog. But then there are quite a few journalists who do the same – some of the newspapers here in the UK just churn out celeb stories and scandals which are often just rehashes of rumours bouncing around the net.

Others are just as biased as the worst of bloggers. For example our Daily Mail has a thing about Facebook and will try and link the site to suicides, marriage breakups, under aged girls being groomed etc. Reading some of their stories you can see that there is little research and the article is mostly speculative.

However, when you are looking around there are quite a few bloggers who take a great deal of effort, and do a great deal of research, before writing a post.

I think the easiest definition is that journalists are paid to write. But some people are paid to write blogs arghhh

Author Jan 22, 2011
12:33 am

From the LinkedIn group: Media Jobs

Vijaya Prasad: I finished j-school last year – and one of the projects I enjoyed most was setting up a blog. I chose a very specific niche for the project, writing about all things Indian-American, and as a result, have done interviews for some of the blog posts I’ve written. So I don’t think it’s necessarily “this is the last book I’ve read, and I loved it and here’s why.” It has some of that and some social commentary type discourse. Blogging does provide more autonomy over the content you post, but I don’t think that’s at the exclusion of actual reporting.

Jan 22, 2011
2:16 pm
#6 Karin :

You are asking an interesting question. I don’t think that the answer is as simple as you made it sound. There are a lot of bloggers who research their topic before writing about it, and a lot of journalists who provide their opinion. And both are held responsible for their writings by their audience. Regardless whether you are a blogger or a journalist you have to provide quality to keep your readers coming back. Not sure if you should wait quite the 9 years before you publish though… lol.

Author Jan 22, 2011
4:46 pm

Of course, Karin, you are absolutely correct. The answer to the question “What’s one difference between a blogger and a journalist” is certainly not simple. And that is one of the reasons i put the question out there, i.e. to hear what people would say.

From my own vantage point, as a trained journalist, who has been a magazine and newspaper writer and editor for more than three decades, I am a blogger who often does lots of research before submitting/publishing posts. As a teacher in a journalism department, however, I am well aware of the prevalent attitude among so many “journalists” that the vast majority of “bloggers” just write from the hip [so to speak] . . . and therefore do not product “journalistic-quality” material.

But today’s world is hugely different than the one in which I was first trained to be a journalist. It is clear to me that everyone needs to understand that in an evolving milieu, the standards, rules, and processes are being created — but not without a degree of struggle, dissension, and compromise.

Author Jan 22, 2011
5:50 pm

Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
Really, in 2011 we’re still having this discussion? There used to be a bigger distinction (real or presumed) between bloggers and journalists that was supposedly measured in terms of professionalism and objectiviity, but that distinction has long since been shown to be meaningless in practice. Some bloggers, however opinionated, back their essays with reporting, facts, and verifiable links. Some journalists, however vetted their copy, still rush into print without all the facts or with stories “balanced” by a false objectivity that reports both truth and lies in a he-said/she-said manner without bothering to inform the reader which side is telling the truth and which is lying. If there’s any difference at all left between bloggers and journalists, it’s accountability. Journalists tend to be shielded from it, while bloggers have it forced upon them by their commenters. But now that so many journalists are becoming bloggers, they are realizing that they’re accountable to their readers (who will happily expose flaws in their reporting and reasoning, and who will brand them all over the Internet as untrustworthy if they fail to clean up their act), and that a reported story is just the beginning of a conversation, not the end of it.
Gary is an experienced journalist now writing for Entertainment weekly

Author Jan 23, 2011
1:25 am

From the LinkedIn group Online Reporters & Editors: Christopher Boots-Faubert — The bottom line — and I imagine this is not going to be a popular opinion here — is really very simple…

I hear the “quality” argument all the time — but that is really not what most journalists see as the fundamental difference. What they see is simple: a blogger is an amateur who writes. A journalist is a professional.

As a journalist we follow a code of ethics that is enforced by a structure above us that consists of sub-editors and editors who are there not to block us but to help and protect us. It is a good and working system. Bloggers could benefit from that sort of supervision.

In my opinion — for whatever that is worth — I notice that a lot of bloggers are not trained writers. They commonly bury the lede, fail to write to the pyramid, and often miss the important points of what they are reporting on because they allow their emotions or their own interest in the topic to push the focus on elements that are not really the meat of the piece.

Still, I think that there is a place for bloggers in the world, and a lot of on-site reporting would not happen if it were not for bloggers. I would love to blog, but I need my paycheck more than the ability to say whatever I want, whenever I want.

Christopher, it is good to hear that for you, journalism is not just a hobby.
I joined a “syndication tribe” where I must read lots of blogs and, honestly, it’s sometimes painful to get through the poorly written posts. But I’m reminded of Milton’s defense of freedom of speech that the cream will rise to the top.

A lot of people Tweet meaningless babble, but those who know what they are doing will stand out and accomplish strategic objectives.

I do hope you get to blog some time in the future so you may have the opportunity to say whatever you want, whenever.

Author Jan 23, 2011
11:38 am
#10 Shari Weiss :

more from LI Online Reporters & Editors group:
Gary Susman • @Christopher Boots-Faubert : Maybe the “professionalism” distinction was valid once, but no longer. Professionalism has become a tautology: you’re a professional because someone hired you. If your publication lays you off (as is increasingly common nowadays) but not the writer in the next cube, are you no longer both professionals? If the publication hires a blogger (as is also increasingly common), is she suddenly now a professional?

You’re right that more bloggers would benefit from such niceties as journalism training, copy editing, editorial guidance, legal vetting, and such, but those are only tools. They can’t make a bad writer into a good one, a lazy writer into an industrious one, or a novice into an expert in the field. But they can, under the excuse of “professionalism,” coddle writers who are bad, lazy, or novices. They can also flatten out the individual voice, enforce an objectivity that is not really objective at all (because it favors the status quo or the mendacious because it merely repeats claims without evaluating their truthfulness), and pass off stenography as journalism.

Blogging, too, is just a tool, one with its own set of conventions and rules that the best practitioners follow. More and more professional journalists are discovering these rules as they become bloggers on the side (or, having lost their jobs, as a primary vocation). If you’ve done both, or are doing both simultaneously, you realize that traditional journalism and blogging can supplement each other. Indeed, with professional journalism in crisis (of methodology, not just economics), and with only blogging arising as an alternative to fill the void, they pretty much need each other.

Author Jan 23, 2011
11:39 am
#11 Shari Weiss :

another opinion from an Online Reporter & Editor:
Jay DeVincentis • Here’s another opinion. A journalist merely reports the news. A blogger can go much further.

For example, I give financial advice. I am not a journalist. I write a blog. Financial journalists believe that news drives the markets – and report that news as the ’cause’ of the markets movement.

However, that’s where most people go wrong. News doesn’t drive the markets. It’s a popular belief that it does, because the media reports it so. But if that were the case, then any journalist would also be a very successful financial advisor. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

And while a blogger may take a journalistic approach to their posts. A truly valuable blog wouldn’t. The world is full of content, of news, of people drawing context from the media. I believe there are blogs out there that are much better than providing mere ‘jounalism’.

The problem is, blogs are also used as tools to promote businesses and drive traffic and create backlinks and improve google rankings. So to find a truly good blog is very difficult to do…

@Jay DeVincentis: You are right, it can be hard to find a good blogger. It can also be hard to find a good journalist. The days are over when you can assume a journalist has credibility just because he or she is employed by The Wall Street Journal or CNN or Good Housekeeping or whatever your outlet of choice is. The good news is, cream tends to rise, and the best journalists and bloggers develop a reputation for trustworthiness that can be tracked on the Web, while the worst develop equally trackable reputations for unreliability.

Author Jan 23, 2011
11:46 am
#12 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Media Jobs:
Brian Truscott • Journalist: who, what, where, when and why
Blogger – the introduction of the pronoun: I
when I want news, I don’t care about “I;” I care about the Ws.
As a guy who wants to read what people are thinking? I go to “I.”
kinda simple but – and here’s the rub – the boys and girls writing news are getting fuzzy.

Author Jan 23, 2011
11:49 am
#13 Shari Weiss :

from LI group Blogs! Blogs! Blogs!:
Paul Odtaa
I’m reckoning that anyone starting up in journalism today will need a portfolio career rather than following the trend of junior reporter on a local newspaper or magazine and then working your way up a senior reporter or editing role.

It is probable that the way up in today’s world for a new journalist is a combination of freelancing, web contenting writing and blogging as their training ground, the way to build up their writing skills and experience and their way to establish their journalistic and professional authority.

It will then be by proven freelance success that someone will be offered one of the limited number of full time, permanent journalist jobs available. Over here and I suspect elsewhere going to the right school or coming from the right family will still get you a job.

Going back to your original query of blogger v journalist I believe that the authority of the writer is significant. A blogger with a lot of authority should be considered a web content journalist while the majority of bloggers, with low readership, should not.

All journalists have a certain amount of authority given that the newspaper or magazine that they work for automatically has authority.

Author Jan 24, 2011
5:20 pm
#14 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger

Christopher Boots-Faubert:
I do not like it when a general conversation has to get personal and I debated whether I should write this reply at all because so often a simple conversation turns into a flame fest because of just this situation…

Gary… Clearly you have an emotional investment in this subject. It is equally clear that you feel the need to force your world-view on the subject, defining the reality in your terms, so that what you say better applies. The problem with that approach is that not everyone shares your world view or definitions, and not everyone is willing to confine the logic being used inside the shoebox that holds your point of view.

Your view on professionalism only applies if we all agree to your definition of the word — and clearly you define the word as applying only to the employed. The definition of professional journalist that I use is the common one, a trained journalist.

You refer to training as a nicety — and there is the telling point to your POV mate. It is not a nicety it is an absolute requirement. Believe it or not it does not always happen at JSchool — it also happens on the job. And it is more than just knowing how to write a piece, or develop contacts and sources. It is more than just being employed to a level acceptable to the National Press Club so that you can become a member (I have heard that one used before in this sort of discussion).

The traditional training process for journalists teaches things a blogger cannot learn on their own — important aspects of the job. The State Police issue ID’s to professional journalists that allow them to cross police lines and access restricted areas so that they can gather the news. Those ID’s do not give blanket access or the right to walk into a crime scene itself — and a journalist would never do that because of the risk of contaminating the scene because they know what their limitations are. They know them because they were taught them.

The ethics that they follow can be taught in a classroom, sure, but applying them in the field is another matter entirely.

With respect to your argument about the quality of a writer — mate that is a self-correcting process. When a new writer joins a newspaper they are not given an important beat, they are given one of the minor ones so that when they screw up — and they will — it is not the sort of mistake that blows up in their face. It is one that they can survive. And learn from. Becoming a pro means getting experience in the real world.

The good writers get promoted, the bad ones get shown the door. It is fair to say that if you work for a paper and you have been assigned a major beat you are a competent professional.

As far as papers hiring bloggers — they do! To blog in the blogging section of their online version. They do not hire bloggers to report the news. You make it sound like papers are firing their staff writers and replacing them with bloggers — that is not happening. They ARE reducing the number of staff writers, true. But they are replacing them with freelance writers who get a paycheck with no benefits. Like me.

After writing my original post to this thread and reading the replies I actually have given a lot of thought to the difference between a blogger and a journalist and I believe that I have a more basic definition for you: a journalist observes and reports the news, never becoming part of it. A blogger observes and reports what they think happened, and often becomes part of it.

Cheers mate!

Author Jan 24, 2011
5:27 pm
#15 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors:
Steve Marinucci • I think bloggers don’t try to report the news, but say whatever they need to. Journalists are more responsible — and also know what news is. Judging from some of the crap news that gets reported as big news today — the same stuff that would have been spiked immediately at a newspaper in the past, many bloggers have no clue what news is.

Author Jan 24, 2011
5:56 pm
#16 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors:Deborah Mendez-Wilson • It’s like comparing apples to oranges. I may be wrong, but “blogger” implies opinion to me, and not objective fact reporting based on research and skilled writing that comes only with years of professional journalism experience in real-world trenches. For me, blogger also implies a sort of grassroots, informal, citizen-based style of communication. At the heart of journalism is objectivity – or at least the best effort to achieve that. Blogging by its very definition is educated editorializing at its best, or rank stream of consciousness and muckraking at its worst.

Author Jan 24, 2011
6:15 pm
#17 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Esther Surden • Here is a very interesting article that sums up this conflict: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/nyregion/24gerritsen.html?_r=1 This blogger doesn’t follow any of the rules we were taught in journalism school

Author Jan 24, 2011
6:19 pm
#18 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Sandy Kaczmarski • Interesting thread. For my two cents: a journalist, like Gary said, is someone who has an education and/or work experience. And Jay, in journalism school I was taught that a good journalist does more than merely report the news; it is important to put things into context. It’s one thing to say there was a meeting last night (terrible lede), but a good journalist would say a tax hike was approved and residents can expect a tax hike.

“What does this mean to the guy on the street?”

What’s happening is “journalists” are no longer doing that, but writing stories that would be better as bullet points — almost like a press release. I do feel that reliable journalists are becoming, in my opinion, a thing of the past. Bloggers are opinion writers, commentators. Many bloggers today are journalists, and as has been mentioned here also do research, providing backup to what they are saying. But blogging is much more informal, first-person writing. I do believe this will continue to evolve, and that journalists, with experience and backed-up info, will blog and as we are seeing, this style is quickly replacing old school journalism.

Author Jan 25, 2011
12:47 am
#19 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Sandy Fitzgerald • I think a good journalist can be a good blogger, and a good blogger can be a good journalist. How?
Well, a good journalist, like the other Sandy above me, doesn’t just give point A, B, and C to a story. A good journalist brings readability to the news and adds a “what does this mean to you” spin to it. After all, why write something that nobody reads?
And a good blogger can also be a good journalist. We’re not talking about the gossip sites or ones that throw their opinions out there. But there are many blogs that tell about what’s going on around their towns, bring world news into discussion, tell people where they can find jobs, and more.
A blogger might not have all the training in the ethics and legalese that goes into being a journalist, but at the same time can tell whatever the news is about his or her topic.
And as for having to go to journalism school and get the piece of paper that says you’re a journalist, I’ve been an editor for a long time, and most of the real old-school reporters I’ve known — those crusty old-timers who have forgotten more about what makes a good news story than most of us will ever know — never spent a day in journalism school. I even know a few who didn’t finish high school.
And we all know so-called “journalists” who have made up sources, exaggerated news items and flat-out lied to put a spin on a story that shouldn’t have been there. And we all know bloggers who are very careful with what they put online and who wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. But by using the reasoning some on here are using, the so-called “journalist” should get more respect just because his or her writing is in print instead of online?
The boundaries are getting blurred, folks. And like it or not, the Internet is here to stay.

Author Jan 25, 2011
12:51 am
#20 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Deborah Mendez-Wilson • Folks, let’s not confuse the medium/tool of the day (the Internet, social media, etc.) with the message or messenger. A good journalist/writer can produce content about any subject for any medium. This isn’t about whether bloggers have an edge on journalists when it comes to writing for the Web.

This is – or at least should be – a conversation about the skill set required to call someone a “journalist” and all that the word implies, e.g. objectivity, skillful writing, good grammar, craftsmanship of messaging, professional sourcing of information, and thorough gathering of information in the greater interest of readers and, ultimately, democracy. Of course, as someone mentioned in this thread, there are some bad apples in the journalism world, and there are some high-quality bloggers who may or may not have had journalism experience.

No, it’s not necessary to have a journalism degree to be a great journalist, but as with any other area of specialization, it helps to have a good grounding in the field’s best practices. As a former journalist, I worry about bloggers who engage in misinformation, regurgitating debunked myths, partial reporting of the facts, and the dissemination of façile information for a generation of scanners and blinkers.

Author Jan 25, 2011
12:55 am
#21 Shari Weiss :

more from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Gary Susman • I’m with the last three respondents on this. The boundaries are becoming fluid between traditional journalists and bloggers, and there are people on both sides of the aisle who are professional (in a traditional sense) and people on both sides who are not. The very act of proposing a distinction between journalists and bloggers tends to presuppose that all the bad apples are on one side, and they are not.

For the record, I do have journalism training and extensive experience on all sides of this equation, not just print journalism and blogger, but also editor and reporter, and staffer and freelancer. I’m not trying to carry water for any one group, but if I have strong feelings about this, it’s because this is a vocation I love, and it makes me sick to see it destroying itself through short-signtedness, laziness, greed, and retrenchment.

I don’t think traditional journalism is being replaced by blogging; both need each other to survive. But traditional journalism is dying of largely self-inflicted wounds (read this article published today by the ombudsman at the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/21/AR2011012105376.html ), and that’s not good for old-school media outlets, new media, or democracy itself.

Note to Christopher Boots-Faubert: I apologize if I made my argument seem overly personal to you. I am not trying to impose my definitions of “journalism” or “professionalism” on you or on anyone else. Ideally, there would be more old-fashioned professionalism, as you have defined it, in this business, rather than professionalism as defined arbitrarily by those who hold our careers in their hands. If you don’t like that more arbitrary definition of professionalism, don’t blame me, blame the gatekeepers.

Maybe in your experience, journalism is still a meritocracy. In my experience, that’s unfortunately no longer true. People lose their jobs without regard to merit or experience, and people with no training or experience or journalistic ethics (many of them from the blogging world) do get hired at such outlets as the Washington Post or CNN or Time, and not just to blog but to take their place alongside print-trained columnists and pundits. Our editors and publishers have abdicated their duty to exercise good news judgment — to decide what’s important and what’s trivial, and who’s best suited to cover the news — and given that responsibility over to the accountants, who care more about not scaring away the advertisers than informing the subscribers.

For many of us, the response has been to become our own editors and publishers. This is a calling, and we are going to follow it no matter whether or not the gatekeepers give us permission. In the end, I think a journalist is someone who practices this craft because he or she feels compelled to do so, and the right to call ourselves journalists is something we have to earn every day by doing good work.

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:25 am
#22 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Media Jobs:
Riaz Andy • But in any case its all about sharing information and that includes research items, observations, feelings, findings, perhapes fictions and any other source, that can benefit ‘I”. After all its the future and I believe our age, Tolstoi, Adam Smith ….etc, will known to the world through this medium. News are getting fuzzy, well, is this what generation gap is all about?

Going to the ghosthouse gonna have a real ……. good time, (the doors)

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:29 am
#23 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Media Jobs: George Armstrong • Traditional journalism training, mine included, built on objectivity and factual delivery as a foundation. It was the cornerstone of trust that made content credible and desireable. Journalism did not eradicate the demand for opinionated dialogue, though, that fare just belonged on a different platform. Blogs seem to be an extension of the editorial page. Opinions that claim to be built on fact. Interprative and stimulating when delivered appropriately. Coexistence between news and opinion has worked for generations. It still can if it is filling a consumer need.

Author Jan 25, 2011
11:00 pm
#24 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Journalism:
Susan Cormier – Two other differences between bloggers and journalists? Journalists write in the third person, whereas bloggers tend to write in the first person. Journalists also conduct interviews with people “in the know,” along with doing the research you mentioned. Not all bloggers do that.

Author Jan 25, 2011
11:15 pm
#25 Shari Weiss :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors
Posted by Soraya Ali
A journalist is an educated, trained professional, who follows journalistic ethics, style, and protocol. A blogger, or at least a blogger who communicates well, writes in the spoken voice. The styles are entirely different.

Best regards,

Soraya Ali
Octagon Marketing Group, LLC

Author Jan 25, 2011
11:18 pm
#26 Shari Weiss :

from Linked group Online Reporters and Editor

Jyoti Shukla • As a professional journalist I am careful about my language, about being objective and fair in my analysis. As a blogger I write for fun and love to be biased:)
As a journalist I am responsible to my readers, as a blogger I am not responsible to anyone:)
Because journalism is my profession and blogging is my hobby.
(Others who blog professionally may not agree with my point of view).

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:16 am
#27 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
But in any case its all about sharing information and that includes research items, observations, feelings, findings, perhapes fictions and any other source, that can benefit ‘I”. After all its the future and I believe our age, Tolstoi, Adam Smith ….etc, will known to the world through this medium. News are getting fuzzy, well, is this what generation gap is all about?

Going to the ghosthouse gonna have a real ……. good time, (the doors)
Posted by Riaz Andy

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:51 am
#28 Shari Weiss :

2005 article by Jay Rosen [NYU prof] declaring the Blogger vs. Journalist War Is Over: http://archive.pressthink.org/2005/01/21/berk_essy.html

Author Jan 29, 2011
12:34 am
#29 Shari Weiss :

Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
If placed side-by-side with a journalist in the pages of a newspaper, a blogger would be placed on the Letters to the Editor page.
Posted by Joel Spears

Jan 30, 2011
7:05 pm
#30 Breanna :

Many times I’ve used the delineation of time to differentiate between blogs and news. Explaining to a new site owner that content they write which will be relevant forever should be a blog vs content that may become stale over time should be news. However I’m not sure a distinction can be made by those that write this content in relation to that.

As readers it is expected that even in an opinionated blog the content is factual – and the recent push by the fcc to force bloggers to disclose when they have ties with companies they are reviewing products for would suggest that the integrity that we hold journalists to is also being mandated in the field of blogging as well.

While I totally agree that time is what makes the difference between a blog and a news article – I think the writers of both are the same.

Author Jan 30, 2011
9:51 pm
#31 Shari Weiss :

Bre, I would suspect that many bloggers would agree with you . . . and some journalists, i.e. the ones who blog

Jan 31, 2011
10:25 pm
#32 Jena Perry :

It seems like a Journalist can be a blogger, but a blogger can be a journalist. Its as if most bloggers are TRYING to be journalists, instead of emphasizing the positive side of blogging: the intimacy of ones thoughts.

Author Feb 1, 2011
1:39 am
#33 Shari Weiss :

One big problem, Jena, is that many people believe that too many bloggers are “irresponsible” as well as being weak writers, and weaker editors.

Feb 4, 2011
4:53 am
#34 Stephanie Ortega :

@ Shari Weiss

After reading what many people say the difference between a blogger and a journalist say, they say some of the same things.

A blogger is more of a person who writes something on twitter but they were not trained to write like a journalist. A journalist took classes to become a better journalist so their skill is higher-level then bloggers.

What also came to my mind was that journalist gets paid for the work they do. If their work is not good then they’re just going to drop them and pay someone else who does better work. Bloggers are not all paid and you really don’t know 100% who is getting paid and who’s not just because anyone can make a twitter account for free. Those who do adverting for their company could then be said they are getting paid for their work.

Author Feb 5, 2011
12:46 am

This is so true, and part of the reason why I stopped watching television news. It seems that many television networks air ‘news’ shows that cater to certain interests – so why there is this idea that ‘renowned’ publications/programs are less biased than self-published journalists is a bit unclear. Is it just that we are really in a transitional time, and that it will take some time for the institutional mindset to change?

Author Feb 8, 2011
11:27 am

LinkedIn Group: Journalistics
Discussion: What do you tell j-students?
Jack Hambrick:
Is there a clear definition between the two? I don’t think so. I have seen many local issue blogs by ordinary citizens who have done impressive amounts of research on their chosen topic. At times they do more than a local newspaper/online reporter because they have an unlimited amount of time to research the topic and have no deadline constraints.

Anyone can call themself a journalist. It requires no standard set of skills or certification. Anyone who produces a keystroke in WordPress can be a blogger. Since blogging and journalism is a trade and not a profession there simply is no measurement to differentiate the two.

I think what is more important than the definition is to stress responsibility whether blogging your thoughts or opinions or writing a news story. Digital publishing is new to all of us and it is important to consider how what you write today might impact your life decades later. If writers approach it from that standpoint we might get more thoughtful and responsible blogging and reporting.
Posted by Jack Hambrick

Feb 22, 2011
12:35 pm

This question is like asking, “What’s the difference between a TV newscaster and a journalist?”
“Blogging” refers to the medium; “journalist” refers to the topic and approach. You can blog about crochet projects that you have researched and explained deftly. But that’s not journalism. You can also write a news story that ends up on HuffPo, which I have done — once. Does that make me a blogger?
I also have two blogs, that I rarely post to anymore. One I would say includes journalistic approaches (except for the poetry). The other, (http://altworship.wordpress.com) is a vehicle for publishing my sermons. I wouldn’t claim to be either a blogger or a journalist based on these two sites.

Author Feb 22, 2011
5:41 pm
#38 Shari Weiss :

Appreciate your insights. With technology redefining NEWS I imagine there will be much more debate on this topic.

Author Mar 25, 2011
10:18 am
#39 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Group: Journalistics

Discussion: What do you tell j-students?

Show me your journalism degree and I will call you a journalist. When I graduated journalism school, blogging didn’t exist. I went to school for four years to learn how to be a good writer. A blog can be started and written by anyone with a computer and internet access. The person writing it can have zero writing training.
Posted by Kacey King

Author Mar 30, 2011
2:06 am
#40 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Journalistics
Discussion: What do you tell j-students?
I see the role of most bloggers as columnists, and therefore, opinion-based. A journalist is fact-based and use good practices in sourcing and fact-checking. But as we all know, it’s not always so black and white.

I hear a lot of lamenting these days that “anyone can be a journalist.” And I want to reply, “And…?”. It doesn’t really bother me whether a journalist works for a major paper or starts his or her own website. If it’s editorially sound, the writing is solid and they’re doing original reporting, I say, come join the party.

Blogs are important too. Some blogs out there have raised issues that other news organizations with more bodies and money have followed up on, which the lone blogger couldn’t do. Is it wrong that the original spark came from a blog? Bloggers come in all shapes, colors and viewpoints, and thank goodness for that. They talk about all kinds of topics, large and small, on all kinds of hobbies and interests. When I wanted to know what happened to the car painted with roses that appeared on the TV show Chico and The Man in the Seventies, I found my answer on a blog, as well as a touching story about the man who owned it and his legendary place in the history of lowrider cars . Who knew?

A blogger, that’s who.

I think the fear of people who went to J-school is that bloggers aren’t upholding the standards of a “real” news organization. However, I think we should be more concerned with the way some “real” news organizations have seriously fallen down on the job. I don’t have to give examples. We’ve all seen them.

Sometimes the lines are blurred, and that’s ok too. Is Michael Moore a journalist, a filmmaker, a blogger, a spin doctor, or all of those? It depends who you ask. We can talk about it, criticize, agree or disagree. We shouldn’t fear new media or more voices. In a free marketplace, there is room for them all.
Posted by Ruth B. Cohen

Author Mar 31, 2011
11:41 pm
#41 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Group: Journalistics
Discussion: What do you tell j-students?
I agree with most of what is being said here. I don’t think you can differentiate the two. There are journalists who are bloggers and vice versa. And there are a lot of professional blogs out there that do hold the same standards as you would an editorial like David mentioned.

I currently write articles and a blog for my organization, sometimes about the same topics (I know it’s more PR than anything). The difference is that the article presents only the hard facts and the blog is about my personal learning experiences. So the two complement each other.
Posted by Amanda Benjamin

May 9, 2011
8:49 am
#42 Larry Ganns :

Two sources.

Good morning Shari,
bloggers rely far more on opinion and therefore are more likely to put forth an arguement without providing the standard two sources to verify a claim or conclusion.
For example, claims were posted that enhanced interrogation techniques were directly responsible for the success of the bin Laden prior to any solid evidence concerning the bin Laden’s courier.
A journalist would simply repeat the question and attempt to verify the claim with military or government officials.

Author May 14, 2011
2:53 pm
#43 Daisy Morant :

LinkedIn Groups: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
let’s not forget that most independent bloggers have as their goal the monetization of their blog, which worked so spectacularly for Dlisted.com; all that work, all that time, is expended in expectation of eventual profit. as such they are unlikely to be as close to being unbiased as a journalist’s work should be.

many bloggers like having no supervision, no editors to prune and shape their copy, no lawyers vetting articles. the latter probably steers bloggers away from controversy. and i have noticed that there are numerous blogs that essentially rework source material in the public domain.

worthwhile opinionated dialogue founded on fact seems to be expressed primarily on blogs belonging to media parent sites. and some blogs are used as bait (celebrity magazines and such) for new subscribers.
Posted by daisy morant

Author May 19, 2011
7:17 pm
#44 Simon Morice :

LinkedIn Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
The purpose of journalism has been clear since the seventeenth century. It was the solution to keeping everyone informed. Things have changed now that the Internet has muddied the waters. Bloggers do much of the traditional work of journalists but for free. Journalists Tweet and blog on their own account. So, news is free – or at least that is what we think.

Newspapers are in something of a general decline and nobody watches the ads on TV so it’s in trouble too. So who will pay for the collection and dissemination of news? Who will pay for diligent editorial?

Will the journalist fade away like the town crier who, four long centuries ago, they displaced? What would the world be like if PR were to take over from journalism? Is journalism really objective or simply not partisan? Is blogging partisan?

Seems to me that we live in a time of questions – and deep change.
Posted by Simon Morice

Author May 20, 2011
9:15 am

LinkedIn Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
PR taking over for journalism is what worries me. In my hometown, the small newspaper “competes” for advertisers with a blog that primarily publishes press releases from the county, city, school district, etc. The blog also has a few freelancers, emphasis on the word “free.” Makes me concerned about how I’ll earn a paycheck in the future.
Posted by Danedri Herbert

May 20, 2011
5:55 pm
#46 Neil Coligan :

LinkedIn Group Media Jobs Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger I recently helped to conduct an educational program in Winnipeg introducing journalism as a career option for Aboriginal candidates. We relied on a wide spectrum of media professionals to help give voice to diverse opinions about where journalism was headed. One major conclusion was that this is a great time to get stuff into the public domain via the Internet, but it is a terrible time to get paid sufficiently for the time and effort in doing it properly.

Blogging is certainly a great way to develop your chops as a journalist, opinion provider and writer/editor in general. It can even help make you more desirable to potential employers since it shows your level of commitment to fact checking, the quality of your writing and your particular areas of interest and expertise. Unfortunately too many voices is leading to an unfortunate Tower of Babel effect where much is said and read, but little is acted upon.

Posted by Neil Coligan

Author May 20, 2011
6:03 pm
#47 Shari Weiss :

Neil, thank you for sharing your recent experiences. Interesting that you would reference the Tower of Babel, which might serve to support the idea that “too many voices” is nothing new. From my days teaching the history of journalism and free speech and James Milton, it’s clear that the hope is always that the cream will rise to the top.

Author May 22, 2011
2:34 pm

Question asked to journalist Luke O’Neill by my student Champa:
Is blogging, in your opinion, journalism?
His response:
This is a recurring and oft misphrased question. Blogging is a platform. It depends what a person does with it. If someone is using a blog to source, verify, report, analyse and dissect information, then sure, blogging is journalism. The phoney bloggers-versus-journalists war doesn’t interest me. We can all work together as part of community that curates, collects and breaks new information.

Author May 26, 2011
10:47 pm
#49 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
My feeling is that the term “blogging” or “blogger” means different things to different media outlets. Some seem to see it as a less formal way to report, others see as a personal diary. It’s all part of the ever-changing, free-form, somewhat unclear “new media” landscape that has been thrust upon us for the last decade or so.
Posted by Catherine Maddux

Author May 26, 2011
10:51 pm
#50 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Media Jobs
Discussion: Journalist vs. Blogger
Blogging is unfiltered journalism. As a journalist for 30 years, I was able to say what I wanted in a blog. The constraint is credibility. The interesting part to me are the first amendment implications. While there is no real line between “objective reporting” and “analysi,.” at least in this forum, one knows what one is getting.
Posted by David Farrow

Oct 5, 2011
1:22 am
#51 Veronica Cervera@miami rental :

Being a blogger is so much interesting. You can write anytime about almost any topic and this makes it more fun. Journalists are a bit more restricted concerning what they write.

Oct 27, 2011
1:04 pm
#52 SarahBellzz :

I think you nailed it. Unfortunately, Our industry is in such a sad state that even the most polished and prized journalist is being forced to Blog. That is where I am at the moment, only I’m trying to find my direction, and focus, trying to stay away from the First person, and become the invisible narrator that is essential of any journalist.

Dec 14, 2011
6:39 am
#53 Rosetta Winters :

from LinkedIn group Online Reporters and Editors: Sandy Kaczmarski • Interesting thread. And we all know so-called “journalists” who have made up sources, exaggerated news items and flat-out lied to put a spin on a story that shouldn’t have been there. A good journalist brings readability to the news and adds a “what does this mean to you” spin to it. Blogs are important too.

Aug 31, 2012
10:30 am
#54 Lars Trodson :

I’m not sure the question is right. The question isn’t really what is the difference between journalism and blogging but rather what’s the difference between a journalist and a columnist/editorial writer. A journalist of course (as many here have said) researches and then writes two sides of a story (in theory). A columnist/editorial writer writes an opinion. It isn’t the medium that defines them but rather their function.

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