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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Bloggers Are Not Journalists
There has been a lot of criticism recently leveled at John Battelle and Danny Sullivan for articles they have written. Danny wrote on Yahoo's blog, while being creator and editor of Search Engine Watch, while John wrote a major article about A9 for Business 2.0, while organizing the Web 2.0 conference, which will be attended by Amazon's CEO and other Amazon executives.

Why are they being criticized for writing these articles, when for a regular reporter it would be par for the course? Because bloggers are not regular reporters.

A blogger does not just report on the news, he runs his (or her) own news organization. A blogger is not a journalist, but a publisher. And for a publisher to write a promotionary article for somebody else is a lot different than a reporter on Dateline plugging an NBC show or an SUV. Bloggers are more personally associated with their news organization, and the criticism NBC gets when it promotes a GE project on the news is the criticism John Battelle gets when he plugs A9. Bloggers open themselves up to new arenas of accountability a regular reporter never has to worry about.

The contrast between the newsroom and the blogosphere is striking. The future of blogs will depend on bloggers to distance themselves from their blogs, so as to legitimize and remove personalization from their content. Trust me, you'll see the trend moving to more community- and reporter- oriented blogs like Slashdot and Boing Boing over the next two years. Blogs will turn into magazines, not newsletters.


One problem a single-person blog faces is when that single person goes away on vacation. I will be without web access for three days, and suggest regular readers refer to the Blogroll for news. I swear to be back, blogging with a vengeance, Saturday night. Au revoir!

Surely the purpose of a blog is to allow the author to express his own personal opinions. If had to stop being biased or offering my own opinions, I'd probably give-up blogging altogether.
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