Having asked previously “Can you define blogging without mentioning technology?” here is my attempt to do just that for a book chapter on blogging and journalism. Am I right? Have I missed something? Would love your comments on this short excerpt:
Blogging, above all else, is conversational. It is social. It is networked. There are two key features to the blog: links, and comments. Fail to include either, and you’re talking to yourself.
Blogging is also incomplete, open, and ongoing. It is about process, not product. It is about a shared space.
Only republishing print articles or broadcast journalism on a blog, for example, is not using the medium in any meaningful way – a process derisively called ‘shovelware’. Instead, a more useful approach is to blog about an idea for an article, then blog a draft version, asking for readers’ input – and responding to it – at both stages. The published or broadcast version can also be posted on the blog later, as the latest stage in its production, but again with an invitation for updates and corrections. You might publish the ‘uncut’ version, too.
In short, the story is never finished.
And blogging is personal and informal – often difficult for journalists who have been trained for years to be objective and removed from their stories. This personal quality has a number of strengths: it allows you to make a closer connection with readers, which in turn often helps build your understanding of the issues that matter to them. It allows you to be more transparent about the news production process, building trust and news literacy. And it allows you a space for reflection, if you choose to use it.