JOURNALISM VS BLOGGING: Have millennial kids lost it?
Is a blogger a Journalist?
To my knowledge and to what has become the way of life of the average NIGERIAN ‘news breaker’, they constantly nag about how as a blogger they are glued to their computer screens 24/7 waiting on breaking news and typing speedily on their MSWord, trying to break news before their competition beats them to it and steals their traffic.
That is the story of the average BLOGGER.
In an exclusive interview with TNW, David S. Broder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post White House Correspondent, highlighted the lingering issues with the blogosphere in an interview, saying that “You can’t just sit on your computer all day. You need to get off your butt, go out there and interview sources, investigate the issue yourself and then write what you’ve learned.”
That to me is Journalism.
As a Journalist, we are 24/7 researching and digging up facts, making reference to 14years old news in comparison to modern days news. As Journalist we hear that Beyoncé is performing at the SuperBowl 2016, we do not just type a skeletal 80 word synopsis, we go as far back as the first SuperBowl In history, researching half time shows and top performances alike, before we publish a news or a ‘juicy’ story as you term it, we go out of our way to make an opinion poll, asking the society what they think of so and so, then we generate our content and write an insightful piece.
The world as we know it has revamped, bloggers are constantly churning out watery contents, most of the time recycled or just basic with little or no research to it.
In Journalism, that is not the case, seeing as any news you want to break has to go through a tier, be it your editor, sub editor and the likes. Taking time out to research and make sure there is enough knowledge in a piece of news is paramount.
Like I like to say, opinion is not Journalism.
Blogging is Journalism + Opinion.
As a Journalist when we get a piece of information, we can not throw it out to the public in its raw form, we have to package it and edit where necessary making it public friendly and accessible.
Bloggers have the upper hand in breaking news, once news breaks to the public, they do not necessarily have to censor or edit any piece of information, and they churn it out as it is served. I am not saying they cannot do what Journalists do; I am saying they DO NOT do what Journalists do.
The Blogosphere is supposed to be an opinion based platform, it is not as formal as journalism, or restricted, but most bloggers do not use this feature to their advantage, they are firm believers in the copy and paste factor.
On another hand most people see blogging as a training ground for Journalists, some bloggers are doing it the right way, breaking the news with Insightful stories and taking time out to give a well detailed account and personal opinion of the subject, but this is a very rare occurrence. While some bloggers are highly equipped to work in a newsroom and be termed a qualified journalist some aren’t. I am not saying I am better than the bloggers out there, I am just saying that a higher percentage of these bloggers have lost the plot. There is now a thin line between a journalist and a blogger because in the public’s opinion we are all doing the same thing; breaking news, both officially and unofficially. Some will say it is not the source, it is the quality, I agree. Then again sometimes a blog might give you wrong information, if the source isn’t well researched and trusted how do you know for a fact that the public isn’t being fed false news all In the name of blogging and breaking news?
In conclusion, I have heard able minds say that Journalists aren’t original, they say this because they believe we have lost our independence and our voice. A journalist will write a story after intensive research and opinion polls, only to have it submitted for publishing, but first altered by different tiers and heads of departments, so the story has lost its originality, it cripples your craft as a journalist, you submit a story A, B, C… after going through all the tiers for approval you get it back as C, B, A.
A blogger on the other hand is raw and undiluted, the stories they break are theirs. It doesn’t go through a system that makes it acceptable. It is their voice, their thoughts at the moment. That’s what makes them trendsetters and media friendly.
The difference between a blogger and a journalist is unclear at best, in the true sense of the word, they are both news breakers.
They are supposed to go out there, research, investigate, break down sources and deliver news. That is Journalism, and that is blogging, but are the millennial kids doing all these? Or just recycling news?
Words by Oghomwen Toni- Osagie
(Extracted from Mystreetz Magazine Lil Kesh edition)