The Difference Between Bloggers and Journalists

Posted on April 14th 2010

 

A lot of people have been trying to figure out the difference between bloggers and journalist. There seems to be a feeling among some that bloggers are less important than journalist. Others feel journalists are behind the times…


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Truth be told, the argument comparing bloggers and journalist isn't even one we should be having. They are extremely different from each other in certain aspects, but extremely similar in others. Each fulfills a different role. In reality, nothing stops a blogger from being a journalist and vice versa — it's just a matter of semantics.

However, in the spirit of the argument, I think it prudent that we attempt to define and separate bloggers and journalists…

Defining a Blogger

In its most simple forms, the definition of a blogger must be someone that writes a blog. But that's not really enough for us to continue. So how can we extrapolate that? We need to identify what a blog is and make some assumptions and generalities.

The Merriam Webster definition of blog:

The interesting part of the definition to keep in mind is the idea that a blog is personal. Also the definition doesn't say anything about fact or bias. You could say that a blog does not need to be the full truth; instead it could be “reflections” and “comments”.

I don't think it's fair to define blogs and bloggers from the point of resources (some are extremely well financed ie. Mashable and TechCrunch) and topic (Huffingtonpost covers “news” but is still considered a blog).

So in the end the only true definition of a blogger is someone that writes a blog. What's a blog? It's an online journal that a writer can use to share his ideas and thoughts. Therefore, a blogger is someone that writes his ideas and thoughts online.

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Comments

DrewHawkins
Posted on April 14th 2010 at 8:20PM
Love the post. Feel like that comparing bloggers to journalists is comparing apples to oranges. Unless journalists blog, then it just gets confusing ;)
EngageBrands
Posted on April 15th 2010 at 9:59AM
The job of a blogger and journalist is to write, but a blogger can write on something, sharing his thoughts and ideas online while a journalist has to do much more than just write a news story. He needs to investigate thoroughly, come up with the right facts and also at the same time remain unbiased. Clearly, the job of a journalist is more challenging. Must say, a thought-provoking post.

JoeBlend
Posted on April 15th 2010 at 1:45PM

Actually, Foremski recently said that social media isn't really a "conversation," per se, but is rather a realization that we are all publishers now. And as an ex-journalist who now blogs, the lines are blurring more each day. Dictionary definitions be damned.

Good point, we are all publishers in much the same way that we are all designers who can embrace a DIY era of creativity. The Internet, social media, etc has given the everyday person the ability to communicate in new and interesting ways, ways that at one time were only available to a select few. This is both a good and bad thing, and it will always struggle with issues like credibility, sincerity, honesty, etc.

My point: the "Journalist vs Blogger" argument is the same type of debate as "PC vs Mac" or "Artist vs Designer". Who cares? Both bring value and can be utilized in positive ways. Both ultimately work towards the same goal, and in the case of this post, the goal would be "communication". This isn't the 70s or the 80s, it's a new era with new tools and new parameters. Let's get past the egos and just enjoy the fact that everyone has more access to more information and more opportunities than ever before.

LiaDrumond
Posted on April 15th 2010 at 2:45PM
Writers, journalists, bloggers... All the people who care about words are welcome in this ignorant world. I think everybody should write and if you get paid to do it, lucky you! If you don´t, nevermind at all,  many writers were recognized only after dead...
ariherzog
Posted on April 17th 2010 at 8:45PM
Adding to Mona's comment above of credibility, I'll add integrity.

The two combined are what the majority of bloggers I am familiar with, lack. Anyone can write a blog. But credibility and integrity come with respect and ethics and training.