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Layscience.net: Bloggers vs journalists – a response

Martin Robbins, editor of Layscience.net responds to Fiona Fox’s recent piece for the BBC College of Journalism, in which she argued ‘blogs are not real journalism’.

The immediate comments under the BBC CoJo article are worth a read, but also this lengthy response from Robbins, who demonstrates that boundaries between the mediums aren’t clear cut. An extract:

I defy Fiona Fox – or any readers here – to come up with any meaningful way of partitioning bloggers from journalists. I don’t think you can, for two reasons:

  1. Increasingly the distinction between the blogosphere and the mainstream media is becoming fainter and fainter, such that it has already reached the point of irrelevance.
  2. Blogging is simply a writing platform, just like the printing press, and arguments about blogging vs. journalism are as daft as talk of journalism vs. paper.

So when Fiona Fox talks about the distinction between bloggers and journalists, her argument is already obsolete (…)


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  • Hannah

    “Increasingly the distinction between the blogosphere and the mainstream media is becoming fainter and fainter, such that it has already reached the point of irrelevance.”

    This is a totally ridiculous statement. There is such a major difference it’s unreal and incredibly frustrating when bloggers act like there is not. I am a reporter, and if I happen to find a story or a hint of one on a blog, that is just the start of the process and 100% of the time a lot of work has to go into it to make it into a real story for the paper. In blogs, details are missing, there is no real reaction from the community, rarely any decent photos and the vast majority of the stories are swallowed up by comment from the blogger. To say this is journalism is a joke.

    Journalists train for at least four months to get the basic skills for court and council reporting and interviewing, along with the essentials of Law and government knowledge. Then it’s 18 months of doing the job before you can truly say you are competent at it. To say a guy on a computer pointing out something he saw whilst out on a walk is the same as journalism is, quite frankly, an insult to all the journalists who work so hard and put in such long hours to make sure the job they are doing is done well.

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