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The debate about blogging vs journalism is still on. Bloggers claim their blogs are a rich source of information as well as entertainment on the Internet and fit exactly within the journalistic guidelines. The journos lash back saying that the dissemination of news and information is solely their arena, which is not to be meddled with.
What is Blogging?
The process of creating a web-log or a blog, which can be regularly updated and allows users to publish content on the Internet. Blogs also allow users to get instant feedback from their audience. Blogging is maintaining a chronological record of posts uploaded by the blogger on the web regularly. Blogging is providing information, entertainment and also an opportunity for social networking.
Types of Blogs Online
Although the concept of blogging is picking up quickly with the online populace, it is already a huge phenomenon and almost everyone you know has their own blog on the web. These Blogs can be categorized into several sections based on the content, media used or the interest of the bloggers as well.
- Personal: Maintaining a personal blog is like having an online diary. Users often jot down their personal opinions and thoughts, or just write about their routine on a personal blog. Personal blogs are an excellent way for people to vent their emotions and experiences everyday and have an online chronological record of it. One can even make the blog accessible to all online readers, so people who find the blog interesting or share the same problems can share their ideas.
- Corporate: Considering the popularity of blogging, many corporate organizations have come up with their unique corporate blogs. A corporate blog allows interaction between the employers, employees and the clients.
- Marketing: Blogs that are created as a marketing tool to promote a specific product or a service can be termed as a marketing blog. Marketing blogs are becoming increasingly popular due to emergence of Internet as a widespread and global marketing medium.
- Celebrity: A celebrity blog is a platform for the people to discuss a particular celebrity which they either like too much or dislike to a great extent. Celebrity-owned blogs are however for their own promotion and do not allow any content that damages or tends to damage their public-image.
- Fashion: Blogs about fashion are very popular on the web. These are also a great way for people to discuss the latest trends in fashion, the hottest designers on the block and other related issues.
- Music A music blog is a web log that allows people to share music as well as interact with other music lovers. Music blogs also allow users to review music and share their preferences.
- Photo: A photo blog is a web-log that includes photographs as its primary content. A photo blog is an excellent way to share photographs on the web.
- Video: A video blog or a vlog as it is popularly called is a blog that includes video clips as the major content.
- Mobile: A blog that is created via the mobile phone is termed as the mobile-blog or the mo-blog.
What is Journalism?
Traditionally defined as the process of collection, analysis, editing and dissemination of news. Although conventionally Journalism was supposed to be focusing on dissemination of news, with time it has become a heady concoction of information and entertainment, giving rise to a concept called “Info-tainment”.
Categories in Journalism
- Print Journalism: The print media include newspapers, magazines, brochures or even leaflets. Print journalism although rendered obsolete due to the advent of television and Internet, have a considerable readership. The print media are trying to re-invent themselves with the use of more color, more pictures and also by trying to make the newspaper formats more and more compact and catchy. Almost all the newspapers and magazines are coming up with e-versions of their publications.
- Broadcast Journalism:The broadcasting sector is flooded with a number of news channels that promise the audience live action. Broadcast players have the advantage of live news reporting, which however comes with added responsibility since there is less time to verify the facts. News portals on the Internet are also included in this category, most of them being web-portals of news agencies, news channels or news publications.
Ethics and Laws
As far as the media ethics and laws are concerned, it is a common misconception that blogging is free from media ethics. The bloggers are under constant public scrutiny and have to be very careful about the authenticity and credibility of their content regarding sensitive issues. There have been abundant cases of bloggers being sued for objectionable content on their blogs. Journalism practitioners preach complete objectivity while reporting news, which means having an unbiased view. Journalists themselves have come up with a unique thing called “opinion-pieces” to escape this loophole, then why single out the bloggers for getting personal?
It can be acknowledged that not all blogs can be accredited as authentic information sources, however most of them provide first hand information based on personal experiences, which can be regarded as either information, entertainment or info-tainment. In an age where Journalism is struggling to maintain the balance between news and entertainment and asking for increased public participation through polls and surveys, blogs can be labeled as info-tainment sources that totally fit into the journalistic frame! Well as for those who would raise eyebrows about sexually explicit blogs, ask them to have a look at the sleazy headlines in print and raunchy stories on broadcast that are roped in to generate maximum viewership.
Journalism is about telling stories, either yours or someone else’s. As long as there are millions of people, there are millions of stories waiting to be told. As long as someone is reading who cares whether you put it on your blog or read it in the morning paper?