Journalists vs Bloggers: How not to do it.
@maxtb @tchl The nuances are invented by aspirants who yearn to work as professional journalists but lack the ability.
— Tim Luckhurst (@TCHL) August 9, 2012
I enjoy good writing.
I enjoy strong investigative writing that gets to the heart of a topic and delivers home truths with respect to its audience, its subject or whoever deserves it more.
I love writers who cover news quickly and to the highest standards of verification, I love writers who labour over extended features that drill into the depth of a topic or its breadth. In tweets, in print, in long form, in NIBs, writing that meets a standard deserves our time, respect and support.
Some people learn a lot of these lessons academically, others experience the academia to gain a grounding but like most who train in a vocation, are really formed once they hit the ground running in their profession. Others cut to the chase and write without that but have the instincts and motivation — and the understanding — to know what’s required at the highest standards.
Some writers gleefully subvert those standards, drafting headlines that ask questions, throwing sentences together just to get a thought out and communicating effectively despite compromising some of the ‘rules’ that have come to govern the language. For better or worse, even through muddled text, a point can shine through.
I love all this writing.
We all know that yes some writers publish undeclared articles for money and yes some suck up to the brands they write about or are using their writing as a route to financial involvement with them. Others hack phones and bribe cops. All interesting topics.
But I don’t think it’s particularly constructive for the old guard to casually throw out the idea that a “crucial difference between bloggers and professional journalists” is that the former don’t “understand their obligation to their listeners and viewers” versus interested parties they cover.
Or to say most bloggers are waiting enviously for their moment in the spotlight where they become a real honest-to-God journalist if only they were good enough.
Check out the full conversation in the Storify below — interested in hearing more peoples’ thoughts about this, maybe I’ve got the wrong end of the stick.
I’M ONLY A BLOGGER AFTER ALL, OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!111!11!!!1!!1!
Storified by Max Tatton-Brown · Thu, Aug 09 2012 14:57:34
Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent, said the case flagged up a wider concern he had about the way some writers operated.
“One of the key aspects that this highlights is the crucial difference between bloggers and professional journalists,” he said.
“Journalists are professionals who understand their obligation to their listeners and viewers – not the interested parties about which they are writing. Many bloggers ignore that distinction.”