Revolution of Me: Chapter 1: Media 2.0 – Bloggers Vs. Journalists
August 6, 2008
As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!
Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad
BLOGGING VS. JOURNALISM
Comparing Blogging and Journalism is like comparing Text (print) and Video (TV). Where there is a change in medium there is always a change in message – or at least the way the message is composed, shaped, delivered and consumed. Blogging has had the same effect on the journalism world. Neither is particularly worse or better and neither will kill the other.
Before digging much deeper, it must clarified that there are a broad spectrum of bloggers; even broader than the spectrum of journalists. The definition of blogging includes kids keeping journals about their lives on MySpace right through to serious professionals who investigate and report on news much like traditional journalists.
The reality, however, is that irrespective of the kind of blogger or their intentions (personal gratification, personal brand building or even making money by building an audience), the result is often the same. An individual telling a passionate audience a very personal story. A story filled with bias, timeliness and opinion. A story that is published in near-real time and is open to participation by the audience.
Often a blogger will connect with a very small audience. In the case of a young girl on Myspace, she is only reaching her friends and family. In the case of a tech blogger he or she is probably only reaching the small community of readers they have managed to pull together. The fact is, though, that the writer has connected with his audience on a very personal level. Their style, substance and ‘news’ often resonates in ways that mainstream, mass-market news never can.
Because the salience of news is not determined by its impact on the world, but rather the impact on you – personally. Your daughter doing well at a school play is probably the most important news of your day.
The result is that blogging often has a total lack of objectivity and is often done by ‘amature’ reporters.
Why is the absence of objectivity and saturation of amature reporting such a desirable thing to so many people? Because the growing social media population implicitly understands that bias has always existed, that we have always told stories to each other (without the need for intermediaries) and that people are in the best position to tell their own story. Story telling is a basic human need.
An employee working in a company can blog about their strike better than a reporter can. A CEO involved in a controversy can tell his side of the story with more passionate and verve than an impartial reporter. So can his shareholders.
The characters in these stories now have a voice.
There will always be a place for high level reporting however. There will always be individuals who specialize in packaging the bigger stories for a broader audience. Even still, the existence of personal reporting and storytelling can and must play an increasing part in the process of composing these overviews.
In this new storytelling ecosystem, mainstream media companies have an opportunity to play the role of human-powered aggregators. To encourage their communities of interest to submit their perspectives for aggregation into a broader story.
Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!