What is the line between blogger and media? [Adam] Nagourney and Maureen Dowd (expensive link) wonder whether the bloggers are trying to be media as they go off to write books or columns in big publications. Also, judging by rather slapdash way Dowd wrote her column, one might wonder whether media are trying to be bloggers.
A journalist is defined as one who “[writes material] for publication in a newspaper or magazine or for broadcast.” Assuming blogs are created for broadcast–which, I think, most are–that would make any blogger a journalist. ”Circulation” (read, traffic) will depend on how well a blogger upholds journalistic standards. If a blogger claims a bomb has gone off, when one really hasn’t, then that blogger’s support and readership will likely drop off–at least when it comes to breaking news. Look at Truthout.org and their Rove-indictment story. This is, of course, true only if producing fake news stories is not your primary goal (h/t The Onion).
This brings me to Spruiell’s post yesterday, “Blogging as Journalism,” where he says:
[Armando, a former blogger at Daily Kos,] claims he is exempt from [journalistic] principles (“I am not a journalist”) even though we are both political bloggers. This claim says everything about the fundamental disagreement at the heart of this debate. I see blogging as journalism. Armando, apparently, does not.
(I highly recommend reading the entire exchange as my excerpt doesn’t do either Spruiell or Armando justice.) Whether or not blogging is journalism shouldn’t be a point of contention, however. I, like Spruiell, see blogging as journalism, but I would argue that journalistic standards apply no matter the blogger’s feelings on the issue.