Bloggers vs. Journalists

Now I’m not one to normally do this (“this” being posting this on my blog though I generally will talk about things a lot, just part of my problem where I can say something and have it make sense but when I sit to write it, blargh) but…

It is funny that I give much more credence to journalists over bloggers. I am not a journalist and I have always been highly skeptical of what I read in the newspaper. But I do believe they subscribe to a “search for truth” ethic well above the average person. 
– Mike Sanders

Eh, I have to disagree here. To a certain extent.

As Mike stated in his post on Keep Trying, “The increase in blogging makes available many more points of view. But the quick nature of blogging tends to make those opinions less thought out. So there is an increase of quantity with a decrease of quality, compared to say, journalism.” But this statement can be made about the web in general with the plethora of news sites out there who are still fighting to be considered legitimate news sources.

But whether the quality of a blogger’s work is comparable to that of a journalist all depends on what the blogger is trying to do. Are they attempting to report like any other journalist? Most blogs are there for opinions and journals, they’re more like the OpEd page of the newspaper. It’s a great way to see the point of view of folks on the inside of the situations you read about in the news. Whether it’s a Palenstinian talking about the events in the Middle East of a New Yorker right after the events of September 11th, you should expect an upclose and more personal view of these events, not what is news.

What journalists have to strive for is to sit outside and above it all and simply report the facts of the matter. This is the ideal, but that doesn’t really happen.

All journalists write for a paper (or station, or website, or magazine…) whos purpose is ultimately to make money. So these papers must strive to delight their market. If their market is mostly Arab-Americans, for example, then the paper would be stupid to publish articles that may possibly slant in favor of Israel, no matter what the facts are.

Does this present a better picture of events than a blog attempting to report these events would? Possibly, but that’s probably because it has more resources than anything else. The article will still be slanted because of the writer’s opinions and the editor’s opinions and the publisher’s opinion. When the article finally sees print, it has everyones’ fingerprints on it and may distort or leave out facts based on it’s own beliefs and agenda. Your news blogger will make the same mistakes only using the limited resources they have at hand (whether that be their own first hand experience, those of people around them or just what they dig up off of other sites). The agenda of your everyday blogger is simply to convey their emotions and thoughts at that particular moment. And while the facts may not be accurate, the emotions are as real as anything happening out there.

All in all, it just depends on what you want to read.

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