Why are you here?

From the Miami Herald:

Survey reveals motives of bloggers

BY MONICA HATCHER
mhatcher@MiamiHerald.com

Valentin Prieto made his foray into the blogsphere in 2003 as one of the first Cuban Americans to chronicle the experience of exile in a Web journal called Babalú Blog.

For the last three years, he’s been updating his tiny corner of the World Wide Web every two to three hours with news articles, personal stories, criticism, poetry, and photographs in a collage, he says, reflects the complexity of life in Cuba.

”But it’s not journalism,” says Prieto, 41, of Miami.

Many view the web journals, popularly known as blogs, as an antidote to the mainstream media, but according to a report released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than 76 percent of an estimated 12 million American bloggers say they post to express themselves and share their experiences with others.

While bloggers have made media history by breaking news and torpedoing some of the industries most respected practitioners, most notably Dan Rather, 64 percent of bloggers said they don’t see their work as a form of journalism.

However, about 56 percent said they ‘sometimes’ or ”often” engaged in journalistic activities like fact checking and linking to original source material.

The Pew Survey also revealed the astonishing diversity of bloggers, who are less likely to be white than the general Internet population.

Eleven percent are African American, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent identify as some other race, the survey results showed.

Fifty-percent are under the age of 30. And, 57 million adults, or 39 percent of U.S. Web users, read blogs, researchers said.

13 thoughts on “Why are you here?”

  1. As a “journalist” and as a “blogger,” I do think blogs are a form of journalism. I think I know why Val and others would not call it that, but it really bothers me when my journalistic brethern and others suggests blogs are not journalism. Usually, that kind of judgment is not based on the merits of what blogs are doing, but in their role as usurpers of what “traditional” journalists are doing.

    True, not all blogs are “journalism,” but many blogs, like my own on most days, and Val’s, too, are journalism in that we attempt to recount events, happenings, etc. That we may come at it with a strong point of view does that make it any less journalistic. As for my own effort, I can’t help but bring the journalistic principles and practices I have honed over more than 17 years in the news business. I’m just doing it in a new medium, not unlike what print and radio reporters did after World War II on television, i.e. Edward R. Murrow.

    Finally, in defense of the MSM, which on most days I am proud to be a member of, it is interesting to note that large segments of the public still turn to traditional media for their news, whether it be in print, television or the Internet. I appreciate the job security.

  2. Marc,

    Once again, I think I have to beg to differ. A “journalist” should present the news free from editorializing and with no agenda. Thats the ONLY reason I stated what we do here isnt journalism. It is pretty obvious this blog is anti-castro and its agenda is the freedom of Cuba.

    And while I respect you and your profession, what some of your peers in said profession do in the name of “journalism” is completely lacking in honesty and integrity. The New York and Los Angeles Times, CBS, NBC, ABC news, Dan rather, etal, “fake but accurate”, etc. are an affront, or should be, to any honest reporter or journalist that understands that his job is to report the news without ulterior motives and without any persoanl ideological slant. The majority of your peers go out of their way, via their reportage, to control popular opinion and thus effect changes to the political landscape to agree with thei rown personal ideological points of view,

    There is no better example, save for probably every piece written in the NYT, of this than rather’s “fake but accurate” boondoggle of the American public.

    Plus, we arent bucking for Pulitzer here at Babalu.

  3. Speaking of which, I am reading the new book about Matthews, “The Man Who Invented Fidel.” Am about half-way through, but it’s clear that what he did was far worse than what the Times has been accused of recently.

  4. Why am I here? To learn, learn, learn from my fellow bloggers and be inspired by them. To do what little I can do to help drive kagaSStro into an earlier grave by, even if flea-like, irritating the sonofabich.

  5. I think bloggers sometimes act as journalists but usually they are news analysts sort of low budget Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reillys. Sometimes bloggers are watchdogs of journalists. As in the rather case.

  6. Val, congratulations on the write up. I certainly don’t consider myself a journalist. An advocate maybe. 39% is a much larger number than I would have guessed.

  7. As a Missouri journalism student, I figured I should throw in my two cents on this philosophy of journalism thing…

    I’ve had the discussion about what role (if any) blogs play in journalism with peers and professors. In my view, the discussion is one that doesn’t make any sense to have.

    First off, most journalism text books will define journalism as (and this isn’t a direct quote, but very close) the reporting, discussion, or analysis of the news… or any combination of the above.

    When you’re having this discussion, you need to recognize that when you SAY “journalist”, you probably MEAN “reporter.”

    So are the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world journalists? Yes. Are they reporters? Absolutely not.

    Aside from making the distinction between different types of journalism, I think it’s important to note that if the New York Times or the Miami Herald or whoever you want to use as an example was to do away completely with its print edition and publish only online, it would not stop being journalism. It would stop being on paper, but it wouldn’t stop being journalism.

    When does a newspaper with a blog become a blog with a newspaper?

    To me, it’s as silly a discussion as debating how deep a pan can be before it becomes a pot.

    Who cares? As long as it’s deep enough to cook with.

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