Being somewhat of a traditionalist and a budding journalist, my ideal job would be one where I write and produce content for an audience that does not spend 99.99% of their day in front of a screen. Meaning print either for a newspaper or magazine because who does not love the smell of a new magazine or the crumpling of a newspaper. However, I know this is somewhat unrealistic as “we are in a paradigm where the former consumers are now also the biggest producers of content” (Mitew, 2014) and this means that as a journalist, I must compete.
Or do I?
The world of blogging began in 1999 – three years after the Spice Girls released Wannabe – and the publishing world became worried. This is due to blogging destroying publishing’s extrinsic and intrinsic values. Blogging does not have any barriers to entry such as large production fees, meaning that anyone, anywhere with access to the Internet is able to establish a blog and write for a world audience. Furthermore – as Shirky (2002) suggests – print publishing acts as a filter. Blogs however, have no filter and you are able to offer whatever you like, your opinions on current events, a draft novel, fan-fiction, even your ridiculous pictures of your breakfast. But does this make them a journalist or professional writer? Well, no according to Clay Shirky.
Shirky (2002) points out that the fact that mass professionalism is an oxymoron, as professionalism implies a small group of people; blogging on a large scale is simply mass amateurisation as he suggested. But mass amateurisation has its perks as niche markets are now accounted for through blogging as traditional media cannot provide for all markets.
But do not discount traditional media just yet, it still has its place. I believe that the fundamental argument for traditional media in this case is that it provides an overview on a myriad of topics, in one, simple design that is highly accessible. Therefore it caters for a mass market where niche markets – by definition – cannot. Moreover, traditional media still has more authority and authenticity when it comes to breaking major stories as well as providing primary information for its audiences. Many audiences look elsewhere for clarity on major issues away from traditional media on blogs such as Global Voices which has earned its credibility over many years.
Overall, blogs yes are wonderful as they enable individuals to have a voice and share that voice on a larger scale. However, blogs are magnificent for gaining further insight and tips for free for individuals and journalists – in cases such as citizen journalism – but my future, I believe is still in tack for now.
Shirky, C 2002, “Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing” in Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet, accessed August 30, http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html
Mitew, T 2014, “The Attention Economy and the Long Tail Effect”,Global Networks, University of Wollongong, accessed 31 August 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCnVnLYPoi0&index=14&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j%20