Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

May 19, 2008

What I think of blogs and citizen journalism

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media, Movies, Observation

Just for the record, so you know where I'm coming from.

The rise of citizen journalist and blogging is about as much a threat to mainstream journalism as backyard footy is to the Premier league, or amateur dramatics is to to the professional stage.

Blogs are a great place for some people to learn the trade, if they so wish - and some already have attracted the respect and credibility of behaving as a journalist (whatever that may be).

Sure, some may even go on to become professional (that's paid) journalists. Just like some from the am-dram world make it to stage. Everybody has to start somewhere.

But the online world is full of debate on whether or not a blogger is a journalist, and vice-versa, and what that will mean for journalism. Add to that the debate that citizen journalist will make the professional journalist redundant.

Just because some people blog, that's hardly likely to bring down the Fourth Estate. Surely the industry is about more than individuals expressing their own viewpoints and eyewitness accounts (like I'm doing here).

Just because you give someone a pencil doesn't make them a writer. Likewise, just because someone has a blog does not make them a journalist.

I like to cook, but I'm no chef - I leave that to the professionals who know what they're doing after years of training.

With regards to those who continue to perpetuate the debate, I'll leave you with the words of fictional newspaper editor Bernie White, played by Robert Duvall, in the 1994 movie The Paper.

Bernie: I hate columnists! Why do I have all these columnists? I got political columnists, guest columnists... celebrity columnists - The only thing I don't have is a dead columnist. That's the kind I could really use.
Henry: Right. Listen...
Bernie: We reek of opinions. What every columnist at this paper needs to do is to shut the f*** up.

Let citizen journalist deal with the likes of the real world Bernie Whites and see how they cope.

By the way, this is my personal opinion so please keep yours yourself.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.