The most important aspect of blogging is, without a doubt, how it is viewed by its audience. Personal publishing is something that is unique to blogging because journalists do not have the luxury of making all of their work customized. That being said, bloggers can personalize everything ranging from the links they choose to the graphic designs they select for their page. Brian Carroll goes into detail about the contrast between journalism and blogging, along with visiting the ideas of how to personalize your publishing as a blogger, in chapter 7 of his text Writing for Digital Media, “Trends in Personal Publishing”.
Personal publishing is re-shaping media and re-defining roles and job descriptions throughout the world of communication. The first opportunity that bloggers have to personalize their blogs is something that happens automatically: single voice narratives. All blogs have this quality and it is because of this idea to make their personalized views public that separates them from journalists. An example of a single voice narrative that went viral is that of Joshua Micah Marshall with “The Talking Points Memo”. Marshall raised questions about former Senate majority leader Trent Lott’s views on race, and soon mass media was getting involved and following his analysis. Marshall believes he is a journalist writing in a form of opinion journalism, proven in the C-SPAN video.
This raises the argument, once again, of whether or not blogging should be considered a form of journalism. Although Marshall believes it is, many other bloggers do not believe they are journalists. Carroll quotes “many journalists blog; many bloggers do journalism”. I think this is put very nicely because it really depends on the context of the material. Journalists can use blogs to encourage online audiences to read other publishing of theirs, similar to how business corporations use them to build community and create buzz. Similarly, bloggers can set out to interview people and cover a specific story, demonstrating a journalist perspective. So, what does this say exactly about this conflict? I think it says we, as members of this society, look for reasons to separate people or ideas when there is no reason to do so. The video below shares various views of this argument:
Another way bloggers have a “leg up” in the personal publishing area is having the ability to make corrections after their post was published. In journalism, heavy filtering must be done before any words go up online or in print. The internet has empowered ordinary citizens to become fact-checkers and analysts, which makes it harder to make corrections post-publish. You might be wondering why bloggers choose to approach blogs this way, and the reason is because they can make their material better by doing so. With new technology and cheap blog software, bloggers can edit their posts seconds after they publish them. However, with this advantage comes consequences. Actions such as deleting posts or reader comments decreases credibility, and even making corrections is a gray area because it could still appear unclear to readers as to why changes were made. Personal publishing is a skill that takes time to learn, but once you learn it, your blog is a hit.
As I have noticed in the last few chapters we have read, most of the texts about blogging and journalism share the same concepts:
- Blogging is a faster and more efficient way of getting information out to the public.
- Digital communication is shaping our society.
- Personal publishing is how bloggers make an identity for themselves.
- There will never be a conclusion to the debate on whether or not blogging is a form of journalism.
Due to the similarities and consistent messages in these texts, it is clear to me that blogging has many advantages and is the wave of the future. Common journalism and broadcasting will have to change its ways in the future to get more viewers since society is very internet-based now. Blogging will continue to rise up in the internet and produce opinion-based information that the pubic will continue to want to hear. Personal publishing creates an identity and a symbol of credibility to blog readers who enjoy seeing a personal product. This is the way bloggers will blow everyone else out of the water in the future.