Sunday, March 30, 2008


This should be a pretty relevant topic, right?

As is the case with many new and popular things, blogging is misunderstood. It's even misunderstood by some people who have advanced knowledge of the media, or even those that blog themselves.

With the advent of the same blogger platform we are all using on this blog for this class, anyone can blog about anything they want, and for free. This has been really empowering for the serious citizen journalist, while also providing a forum for the unintelligent and uncreative. Many focus on the latter, trashing blogs as inherently something less than a newspaper, or a magazine.

We must realize however (and with respected online newspapers and websites increasingly employing professional bloggers serving as a witness) that blogs are not inherently something less. True, they are much more inclusive and so there is a lot of bad to go with the good, but arguably there is a lot of bad in mainstream media too. Consider newspapers, websites, magazines, and television. There is a lot of good, and a lot of bad. Magazines aren't good by virtue of being traditional bound in a physical sense with letters that form words and words that form sentences, right? Some are good thanks to good writing and editing and creativity. In the same sense, blogging isn't bad by virtue of it taking place online and being more easily updated. Some blogs are good because of good writing and editing and creativity.

If the same person writes for a print newspaper and a blog, is the newspaper writing good but the blog writing bad? That's the illogic conclusion some people oddly come to.

Jamie Mottram at Mr. Irrelevant (a blog) does a good job of trying to educate the confused.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “There are differences between reporting and blogging.”

Jamie Mottram: Right. Reporting is a discipline, blogging is a medium and the latter is an efficient way to do the former. This is why most sports reporters at The Washington Post have blogs and use them to report.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “Blogging is just having an opinion. Just sitting at the crib, back in the cut, as we used to say, and just regurgitating anything you want.”

Jamie Mottram: That’s exactly how I’d describe what Wilbon has been doing at the Post and on ESPN for many years now.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “I don’t care.”

Jamie Mottram: Obviously.

No comments: