DIGC 202, Media

Money For Nothing and Your Tips For Free

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.

The same can be said about blogging making people believe they are writers since 1999

The same can be said about blogging making people believe they are writers since 1999


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

Picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DxGXgW8gs1Y/UGn_y6YzTiI/AAAAAAAAACg/DY5hR4mHjy0/s1600/inta.png


2 thoughts on “Money For Nothing and Your Tips For Free

  1. There is definitely a merit to your argument about a maintaining of the importance of ‘traditional media’ or it’s adaptations to the new environment. This is shown in the simple fact that the top results for news in Google are these traditional news sources. However I would argue that it is important to look further afield when searching for news, as you have said the environment has given a voice to an increasing number of people, and it is important to look beyond the traditional news as they might present conflicting viewpoints that might enlighten the story further. A debate, or user aggregated news I feel presents a much stronger source of information. Maintaining a healthy criticism and a willingness to evaluate these alternative voices I feel should be the most important aspect and will ensure the success of the future journalist.

  2. I liked your choice of topic this week about blogging. You made a good argument by outlining how the nature of publishing has shifted dramatically, opening the online world to mass amateurisation and participation. Blogging has given people a new found freedom of expression, to share unfiltered thoughts, comments, discussions and ideas with the world. Sharing the link to Global Voices was effective in provoking the reader to find out more. Although, a couple of sentences about Global Voices would have been great to explain the power of online communities and producing stories. Whilst the Internet does open up endless possibilities, the downfall with online content is that it can’t mimic the experience we feel when holding the actual published material – like you mentioned, reading content from a screen doesn’t capture the same elements and experience that the physical form does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s