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       Thursday, March 10, 2005

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Would-Be Journalist Castigates Blogs, Bloggers

by Dan Riehl

This published opinion is that of a would-be journalist studying as a Junior at San Diego State University. She likely deserves the benefit of some doubt for being young and all but totally lacking in experience. However, she does present at least once glance into the journalistic mind of tomorrow as it is developing today. The look is not pretty, new and bold, nor enlightened. From this glance, it would appear that the journalistic academy does not paint a very positive picture of blogs, or of people, for that matter, at least in some instances.

the Internet world is infringing on the world of print journalism - leaving some journalists-in-training terrified.

Perhaps it is "terror" that compels her to go on and be so judgmental and negative as regards blogs and the people who write them - but she does.

In recent years, blogs, as well as Real Simple Syndication (known by Internet junkies as RSS), ... A blog can be as simple as a daily journal entry for the world to see or as complex as a news report on what's happening behind corporate walls coming from a mere individual with the need to unmask truth via internet.

Quite possibly she isn't yet learned or mature enough to understand tone or nuance in her writing, but, as you'll see, her use of the word junkies and mere are telling. can a person browsing a blog be sure what has been exposed is "the truth?"

It seems as though the sick, sad world of blogging has twisted the minds of many Americans. People are relying on other, regular, everyday Americans to report to them what is going on in the world according to the blogger - leaving the people who were trained for years on the principles of journalism in the dust.

Good heavens! Sick ... sad ... twisting minds ... It's difficult to know if she's writing an opinion piece for her university paper, or a political pot-boiler for a creative writing assignment. And it seems the only requirement for being classified so is to impose upon her apparently presumed right to become part of a future media elite ruling over the information mere people are entitled to digest: mere people lacking the ability to understand truth, as opposed to she, the next ink-stained whirlwind fresh out of San Diego State determined to feed it to us, of course. Heh! She may be right about the "leaving them in the dust" part, in some sense, anyway. However I think every realistic blogger knows full well that blogging cannot and will not replace the MSM media anytime soon.

... Where has the traditional daily paper, doughnut and coffee combo gone? ... I relate this form of (blogging) "journalism" to the out-of-control reality TV occurrence. Blogs are nothing more than a real-life account on what is going on in the world. This "infotainment" element captivates many who are bored with a daily newspaper.

If you read her piece, you'll see that she starts to unravel quickly from here - pointing out the very assets of blogging - two way communication, instant interaction and access to information - as negatives. She uses what they are best at in an unsuccessful attempt to impugn them, mucking up the issue just as she seems to impugn real life accounts by confusing them with reality TV above.

the majority of bloggers are ignorant of, or completely reject the ethics of journalism. Because of this, people are influenced by what they read and take as truth, not considering there is chance that what was reported was sensational or false.

Obviously she establishes no causal effect between one persons alleged lack of ethics and another persons believing that which is sensational, untrue or false. At this point it becomes a might scary for me to think that she might actually represent the voice of one of the real journalists of tomorrow. But it gets better.

Bloggers are nothing more than Gonzo-journalist wannabes (either with or without the drug haze). Instead of writing their experiences in a literary journalist style and submitting it for possible print publication, bloggers hide behind their computer screens knowing every word they type will be published in an open forum.

Perhaps there is some type of insight I am missing in the world of blogs. But more likely than not, there is no insight to miss. Just as I am sick to death of mindless reality TV, it seems blogs will never truly grasp my interest.

Yes, laughable, I know - particularly for me in this case as I likely have as much or more formal education, training and practical experience in real journalism than she - as do a great many bloggers, I should add. Pity that all went away when we started to blawgg. But, I digress.

I can't tell if she is missing some type of insight, unfortunately she reveals no other types with which to compare it. Perhaps the saddest part of this, allowing that she likely could mature and learn over time, is that she may not get the chance. If what is happening with blogs and blogging doesn't grasp her interest, it will most likely grasp any potential job and career she is entertaining behind those not quite so ivy walls. Poor dear. We bloggers should wish her well, seriously. One of the things we need to do better as bloggers is educate. Evidently some subset of the journalistic academy has a few holes in current offerings.

This post also available through the Blogger News Network.

Dan Riehl blogs at Riehl World View.

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posted by BNN Archive at 6:50 PM  


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