Can Journos and Bloggers live together?


It’s often fought in London, New York, LA. But has it been argued in Belfast?
The Blogger and the Journalist, MSM and New Media.

My view is simple – Lou Reed is a Journalist, Dr Johnson was a Journalist, anyone who records and interprets the world around them in words (whether set in music, paper, web or stone) is a Journalist. At times that will extend to painting, sculpture, dance, any form of communication.  Picasso was a Journalist when he painted Guernica.

I’ve been in journalism in one form or another for a long time.  I don’t see it as the preserve of one group of people.  But who cares what I think?  Most of the time I don’t.

But there are skills that someone who has been trained in News, Reporting, Newspaper, Radio and TV has learned, developed, been taught. I do not for one second underestimate those skills and have often envied the best:

To say nothing of turning a story around on the hoof, meeting a deadline, being first, fair and accurate.  And when required, impartial.

Is a Blogger a Journalist? I think so.

Can a Blogger really screw up simply because they didn’t check the facts?  Oooooh yes.  If an experienced Journalist can, so can a Blogger.  I will never forget the day when the lawyer’s brown envelope arrived, recorded delivery, because I had been quoted (as it happened misquoted) in a national magazine about chlorofluorocarbons in a polystyrene coffee cup.

So is it worth a discussion at BarCamp?

Not a discussion on MSM v Bloggers, I’m so tired of that. A discssion on what each can learn from the other.  Along those lines, anyway.

Finding Bloggers will be easy – will Journos participate? I can only ask.

What do you think? What’s the shape, form, agenda for such a discussion?

9 Replies to “Can Journos and Bloggers live together?”

  1. David Kirk

    Good points. But what if I just want to
    express my opinion, my view from my
    small perspective of life?

    I don’t mind being wrong, or flamed. In
    fact I’m happy to learn, just like “groups”.

  2. DavySims

    Thanks David – you are right and I whole hartedly agree. We should all be able to express our opinions freely; if the web is about anything it’s about the conversations we have, the stories we tell and the opinions we share. But I do think it’s important for people who publish their opinions widely (and not so widely) to be able to see the difference between fact and opinion. To say that a computer, a restaurant service, a book is bad is an opinion. To stray into accusations that a person is a bad person with bad motives is quite another.

    Or in the example I gave saying that a coffee cup was full of CFCs when the manufacturer had made sure that it wasn’t and I hadn’t checked my facts is bad journalism. Mea culpa.

  3. DavySims

    David, thanks for being the first person to post on this blog – if we get the event organised at BarCamp Belfast and if you are able to get there, I hope you can join us. I know your experience goes beyond blogging.

  4. David Kirk

    But I’d be interested in your opinion on
    when and where moderation is good
    or bad in the sphere.

  5. DavySims

    Indeed – and you were mentioned in dispatches last evening at the NISP Connect which I was MCing. Look forward to seeing you at NISP later in the year. As to your next comment, it deserves more than a quick response, so I’ll be composing that today.

  6. DavySims

    Moderation of a blog is different to moderation of a message board. I’d be careful about some comments – all the comments on Cailis and Black Jack that I get here are spammed out. Some people are content to let every message go on a blog – that’s their call. My view is if you want to advertise on my blog, show me the money.

    In Litigation Happy Britain if a Blogger is concerned that a comment is doubtful, then I think it is better to go back to the person who wrote it and ask for clarification. I’d not take down a message right away except in extreme circumstances. I’d not take down a message because I disagreed. A blogger who blocks comments they disagree with is not a blogger – they are howling at the moon and the moon doesn’t hear.

    Moderation of Message Boards and Communities is different, related to House Rules and social norms and “shout” message rather than “think” post.

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