FAQ: What does blogging add to journalism?

Its been a while since I posted a post answering Frequently Asked Questions. This one comes from a student in Holland, whose thesis revolves around the idea that ‘Blogging adds little to journalism

What’s the difference between blogging and traditional journalism?

I’ve answered this and similar questions in a previous FAQ on journalism vs blogging.

What are the pros and cons of blogging compared to other forms of journalism?

That post and other older FAQs probably give some further answers, but a short answer is: blogging provides an extra space to invite people into your journalism and provide opportunities for them to contribute additional information, suggested avenues of inquiry, etc.

It helps build the relationship between journalist and source in a way that standard formats don’t always provide.

The cons would largely be the extra demands on time – but building relationships with sources is always a trade off between time spent now against time saved later.

Should a blogger be a ‘real’ journalist (education, experience etc.) to be able to call himself/herself a journalistic blogger?

No, in the same way that many journalists don’t have any ‘real’ journalism education or experience. Journalism is defined by the act, not the history of the author.

Does blogging add something to journalism?

Yes, see above and those other FAQs.

What are the advantages for a journalist to have a blog?

See above. Traditional journalism is relatively limited in its formats, whereas blogging allows a wider range of content: you can share more behind-the-scenes insights, raw material such as documents and images, and ongoing updates which are of interest to (and useful for) a more specific audience that newspapers and broadcasts don’t generally aim at.

What is the future of journalistic blogging?

I would say much the same as journalism itself: there’s an increased interest in data, curation, analytics, and video. As we learn what works, we’ll do more of it.

As to your thesis about ‘blogging adds little to journalism’ the best way to test that is to ask journalists what blogging adds to or changes about their work. I did some research into this some years ago, a version of which you can find here – I found it has changed a surprisingly large part of their jobs. And many more journalists blog now than did then.

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