There has been a long-standing debate between the critical differences between a journalist and a blogger.
While others say that there is a significant difference between the two, some say sometimes there is none. As journalists defend their profession saying that with their training, standards, and code of ethics, they hold high esteem and are authoritative and reliable. As for bloggers, they just write and publish sans the training and elaborate skills of writing. Some journalists have even said that a blogger is synonymous to a "printer". As disheartening it is to hear such things, we all know where these "comments" stem from- from self-preservation from the waning attention of the public.
A known Philippine government official was noted as saying "I'm a blogger, not a journalist" when questioned about her blatant disregard to attempt at providing the opposing side an opportunity to explain. Thus, comes the question that everyone is asking "What is the difference between a blogger and a journalist?" Before we can distinguish between the two, we must be able to know what are the certain things that separate the two from each other.
On the basis of their medium. A blogger is simply one who keeps and updates a blog which is a journal or a diary on the internet. A journalist, on the other hand, is a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast. On a fundamental level, while a blogger's medium is solely the internet, a journalist is not confined to one particular medium. A journalist can use both traditional ( newspaper, magazine, radio, TV) or digital (internet).
|The Press or Mainstream Media|
Image credit: Pixabay
On the basis of the plot. As a news source, both have different plots. They follow certain criteria or styles which their audience finds agreeable and satisfactory. While providing the news to his audience, a journalist always follows a certain set of rules,a code of ethics, and standards that transcends into the news he writes; that every piece is done professionally and unbiased while an editorial, which may be highly subjective, is still written within the boundaries of their code of ethics and self-regulation. For the blogger, he delivers his news his way based on his point of view. Usually, a blogger has a definitive "niche"(a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service) where he clearly possesses expertise, knowledge, and experience.
|Blogger posting on Tumblr.|
Image credit: Pexels
On the basis of process. Professional journalists secure information from the most trusted and reliable sources available. The journalistic process typically requires finding a fact or premise and then determining the veracity of that fact or premise by verifying it with multiple sources before reporting and attributing to it. For a blogger, blogging has no such requirement or expectation. All a blogger has to do is blog. A piece of journalism, even an editorial or opinion piece, written by an ethical and professional journalist, provides opposing sides the opportunity to present their viewpoints before publishing or broadcasting. A blogger may publish his blog, oftentimes one-sided, assuming if anyone needs to respond they can leave a comment.
On the basis of engagement. While traditional media is produced for consumption, today's media is produced for engagement. Here, the blogger vs journalist becomes an irrelevant debate particularly in terms of audience/community engagement as people today vote with their attention. A blogger is personally connected with his audience. Since the blogger publishes articles based on his point of view, this "engages" his audience and allows an exchange of comments between the blogger and his audience for justifications between opinions. Although traditional journalists believe that blogging lacks fairness as published articles are one-sided, because of the fact that everyone and anyone can leave a comment, it does not limit the opposing view to be heard at all- here, in this little way, fairness is offered. Unfortunately, "engagement" is why traditional news outlets have suffered.
Yes, not all bloggers may be journalists but that does not preclude bloggers from making an act of journalism. In my belief, both blogger and journalist hold a tremendous amount of value for the public and contribute to the dissemination of information hand-in-hand. As for the good Senator who did ask "why weren't their sides taken?"...you should have just left a comment in the comments section.☺
"The Critical Difference Between Blogging and Journalism" by Jason Falls (www.socialmediaexplorer.com)
"What is the Difference Between a Blogger and a Journalist?" by Nitin Maheta (www.makingdifferent.com)
"What is the Difference Between a Blogger and Journalist?" by Saleem Khan (www.quora.com)