Hugh Martin of APN Online has commented on the ongoing artificial journalist vs. blogger thing. His post seeks to establish him as both experienced professional journalist and experienced “online guy”. I’ll pay him on both accounts.
However, his post exhibits some of the worst traits he and the other professional journalists have accused bloggers of perpetuating – failure to research adequately, failure to contact the subjects of criticism for comment and unsubstantiated op-ed. As far as I know, Hugh didn’t contact any of the people he criticises – me, Mark Pesce, Stilgherrian and Chris Saad. He accuses us of generalisation, laziness and, remarkably:
… not to have the first clue about the way MSM actually works, and [clinging] violently to a set of pre-ordained notions about said MSM.
I say remarkably as at least three of us have mainstream media experience of some significance – Stil is an experienced journalist and broadcaster, Mark an often-published author and my background is as a tertiary-trained journalist who hasn’t worked in the industry for some years (I didn’t enjoy the grind enough). If Hugh had called, emailed or researched any of us properly he’d have known that. I think it might have put quite a different spin on his post.
Certainly, I think my post responding to and commenting on the Future of Media Summit was reasonably balanced, so to be accused of laziness, generalisation and not having a clue kind of annoys me.
What bugs me most is the ongoing, patently ridiculous, artificial dichotomy, perpetuated by individuals on both sides of the argument that journalism and blogging are diametrically opposed. The attitude exhibited by both Jane Schulze and Stephen Quinn on the panel; an attitude that suggests a belief that true journalism can only be done by those properly trained, vetted and edited by their publishers is patently rubbish. Equally, the hard line taken by some bloggers that all MSM is evil and a dead medium is ridiculous.
My position, as:
- a trained journalist and reasonably successful blogger (in terms of readership)
- someone who who consults on issues around corporate comms, social media and social networking and connecting with stakeholders by using these tools
- someone who is sought out by journalists for expert comment or covered by them based on my public speaking on this stuff, and
- someone who researches, interviews and comments (sounds like journalism to me) in his field of expertise
is that there is a place for both professional and amateur, journalist and blogger, new and old. What there’s no place for is bigotry, elitism, low quality, sensationalism and unprofessionalism on either side; and both sides are lousy with each. To say otherwise is to be disingenuous at best.
I don’t know why Hugh’s research didn’t extend to flicking a quick email to some of us, but I don’t think he’s done himself any favors with this piece.