Tag Archives: blogging

Is blogging journalism?

The most contentious argument put forward at last night’s debate, Science in the Media: rude or ailing health?, was not about specifically about science, but focussed on the credibility of blogging.

Science Media Centre’s Fiona Fox asserted that blogging is not journalism – a comment which raised a few eyebrows in City University’s lecture theatre, where the debate was being held.

Quite rightly, The Economist’s Natasha Loder pointed out that blogging is a platform akin to television. Therefore, if somebody takes the time to investigate a story using journalistic skills and then publishes their findings on a blog, that blog is journalism.

But one audience member argued that many blogs were bias or not thoroughly investigated pieces of journalism, so how can the reader judge the credibility of a blog they are reading?

Even award-winning blogger Ed Yong said he has not always treated his blog stories with the same degree of scrutiny that he would an article he writes for a magazine – i.e. making a few calls to answer any lingering questions from a release. But he also argued that hyperlinks strengthen the validity of online articles because the reader can trace the roots of the story through links.

Like Yong, I don’t tend to investigate my blog stories with the same degree of scrutiny as I would in the newsroom and I was pleased to hear I wasn’t alone in feeling guilty about it. Perhaps it is due to the personal nature of a blog — my audience is mainly me.

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Filed under Online Journalism Lectures, Opinion

What makes a good blog? From print to online

Bloggers block isn’t a problem I ever thought I’d experience but it has taken me two weeks to write about Adam Tinworth‘s lecture on the art of good blogging. Rather ironically he said a blog should be written contemporaneously – as soon as possible after the event – to have maximum impact.

So, am I a bad blogger for blogging about his lecture two weeks late?

Perhaps. But after I had been told what was good and bad in the blogosphere, I was too scared to write in case it was bad.

Tinworth gave a rundown of the most simple and sophisticated kinds of journalism blogs. At the bottom of the chain was a link to another site, moving up through a photo, a video, any of those with context, then a discussion, and finally an opinion piece.

Although an opinion may be more sophisticated, he said: “Writing an opinion is just lecturing, and people won’t be that interested.” This point is as relevant to blogging as it is to good journalism in general.

David Randall said in The Universal Journalist: “Individual classified advertisements have done more to change the world than all the billions of words of blustering newspaper editorials in history […] Indeed, it is very hard to find a single case of a newspaper comment actually changing the world.”

As for J Blog, the most popular blog so far has been the digital narrative. It has had the most views and the most comments, probably because the format is as interesting as the story.

A symptom of blogger’s block is excessive, unnecessary internet research in the hope of finding something to clear the problem. There were a few pieces of advice here, and the most useful was dark room.

Dark room is a program, which makes the computer screen look like an old Amstrad. i.e nothing but a black screen with green writing, so there are no distractions. Among the hubbub of internet action, it’s a quiet and calming program; a kind of sanctuary for bloggers.

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Filed under Online Journalism Lectures