With the Internet and the effect it has of making the world a global village, it’s no wonder that blogging as the on-line way to get the know-how on just about anything (and anyone) has made use of this endless stream of information available and taken journalism to a whole new level. But is blogging really journalism or an endless stream of information churned out in an almost mindless manner without proper thought as to content and responsibility towards the reader.
While there are many blogs out there that have no purpose, are a means of people advertising themselves and are of no real service to anyone; there are many blogs out there that provide informative content that is of real service to the reader.
What main thing that blogging does is provide a chance for reviews and opinions of people, products, events and ideas to be aired in the main content of the blog. From this sort of content, a reader can gain basic information about a subject, different opinions on the subject, recommendations and ratings.
While many of old school thought would discount blogging as real journalism, it must be said that blogging does get the information out there. Readers are aware of subjects due to blogging and while the content of blogs may not be Pulitzer Prize worthy, the power that blogging holds should not be sneered at. Blogging allows information to be passed on a global scale almost instantaneously.
There is also the argument that real journalism doesn’t promote or market a product which essentially, a blog does; that the content of a blog provided to readers aims at encouraging or discouraging them to buy into something. However, while blogging may be a marketing medium, it also provides a forum through which people can agree and disagree and allow a reader to be truly informed as to a product. Like conventional journalism, all sides of the story can be told through blogging. The content of a blog prompt the reader to share their views and opinions and personal experience as to the content with others; this in turn allows other readers to become informed from different perspectives.
The other issue to be considered is whether the blogger takes any responsibility for the information supplied in the content and instils a responsible content is provided. While bloggers should be experienced and actually know what they are talking about, we cannot be sure that what is provided to a reader in the content has been verified and is essentially the truth, In this regard, it’s understandable that many people refuse to recognize blogging as a form of journalism; there is no way, unless they are a recognized expert or a business, to verify what is placed in blog content. At this point, it is the blogger who must ensure that they know what they are talking about and not misleading readers.
So is blogging real journalism? While we cannot give a straight answer to this, we can say that blogging has many features of journalism but there are some concerns as to ensuring responsible verified content is provided in blogging to the average reader.