I’ve had this blog since 2008. I’ve been reading blogs since then too. I’ve read them, and their critics. I’ve delved into that world and been fascinated at every turn. I’ve followed the journeys that individuals and, later, organisations have made in discovering a digital world and what place it has in the real world.
And then I started a journalism masters which forced me to contextualize it all. To consider the official point of it all. And boy did it confuse me because suddenly it felt like everything I put on my blog had to be researched and linked and backed up and explored and supported by experts and interviews. It didn’t sit right with me and I couldn’t figure out why.
I’ve come to temporary conclusion – that, for me (and I do think for the digital world at large), blogs are about opinion. They are about your own personal perspective, however limited that may be.
My very first reasons for wanting training in journalism, I realise, were not about journalism. They were about me wanting to improve my writing on my blog. I now wonder whether blogs are journalism at all. I have so far come to understand journalism to be the skill of researching a topic from experts through interviews and books and exploration, and then presenting that topic to a wider audience in a way they will understand it.
Right now (and this may change the more I learn on my course) I see a divide between ‘journalism’ and ‘writing from your own perspective to interest the public – be that as an expert or simply as someone with an interesting opinion and voice’.
We shall see.
Thumbnail image: Owenwbrown on Flickr
EDIT: I got some interesting feedback from one of my tutors suggesting that I could make ‘the personal more journalistic’. I like that. I think while the above may still be true, there may also be a discipline in differentiating between a blog that simply rant and waffles, and one that applies the structure and clarity of a journalistic piece. Then again maybe that’s just good writing, rather than anything to do with journalism.