Bloggers claim that their blogs are a rich source of information as well as entertainment on the Internet, and fit exactly within the journalistic guidelines. The journos lash back saying that the dissemination of news and information is solely their arena, which is not to be meddled with.
What is Blogging?
It is the process of creating a web-log or a blog, which can be regularly updated and allows users to publish content on the Internet. Blogs also allow users to get instant feedback from their audience. Blogging is maintaining a chronological record of posts uploaded by the blogger on the web regularly. It is all about providing information, entertainment, and also an opportunity for social networking.
Types of Blogs Online
The concept of blogging is already a huge phenomenon, and almost everyone you know has their own blog on the web. These can be categorized into several sections based on the content, media used, or the interest of the bloggers as well.
- Personal: Maintaining a personal blog is like having an online diary. Users often jot down their personal opinions and thoughts, or just write about their routine. Personal blogs are an excellent way for people to vent their emotions and experiences everyday, and have an online chronological record of it. One can even make the blog accessible to all online readers, so people who find the blog interesting or have the same problems can share their ideas.
- Corporate: Considering the popularity of blogging, many corporate organizations have come up with their unique corporate blogs. A corporate blog allows interaction between the employers, employees, and clients.
- Marketing: Blogs that are created as a marketing tool to promote a specific product or a service can be termed as a marketing blog. These are becoming increasingly popular due to the emergence of the Internet as a widespread and global marketing medium.
- Celebrity: A celebrity blog is a platform for people to discuss a particular celebrity which they either like too much or dislike to a great extent. Celebrity-owned blogs are however for their own promotion, and do not allow any content that damages or tends to damage their public image.
- Fashion: Blogs about fashion are very popular on the web. These are also a great way for people to discuss the latest trends in fashion, the hottest designers on the block, and other related issues.
- Music: A music blog is a web log that allows people to share music as well as interact with other music lovers. These also allow users to review music and share their preferences.
- Photo: A photo blog is a web log that includes photographs as its primary content. It is an excellent way to share photographs on the web.
- Video: A video blog, or a vlog, as it is popularly called, is a blog that includes video clips as its major content.
- Mobile: A blog that is created via the mobile phone is termed as the mobile-blog or the mo-blog.
What is Journalism?
It is traditionally defined as the process of collection, analysis, editing, and dissemination of news. Although conventionally, journalism was supposed to be focusing on dissemination of news, with time, it has become a heady concoction of information and entertainment, giving rise to a concept called 'Info-tainment'.
Categories in Journalism
- Print Journalism: The print media include newspapers, magazines, brochures, or even leaflets. Print journalism, although rendered obsolete due to the advent of television and Internet, has considerable readership. The print media are trying to re-invent themselves with the use of more color, more pictures, and also by trying to make the newspaper formats more and more compact and catchy. Almost all the newspapers and magazines are coming up with e-versions of their publications.
- Broadcast Journalism: The broadcasting sector is flooded with a number of news channels that promise the audience live action. Broadcast players have the advantage of live news reporting, which however comes with added responsibility, since there is less time to verify the facts. News portals on the Internet are also included in this category, most of them being web portals of news agencies, news channels, or news publications.
Ethics and Laws
As far as media ethics and laws are concerned, it is a common misconception that blogging is free from media ethics. Bloggers are under constant public scrutiny, and have to be very careful about the authenticity and credibility of their content regarding sensitive issues. There have been abundant cases of bloggers being sued for objectionable content on their blogs. Journalism practitioners preach complete objectivity while reporting news, which means, having an unbiased view. Journalists themselves have come up with a unique thing called 'opinion-pieces', to escape this loophole. Then why single out bloggers for getting personal?
It can be acknowledged that not all blogs can be accredited as authentic information sources, however, most of them provide first-hand information based on personal experiences, which can be regarded as either information, entertainment, or info-tainment. In an age where journalism is struggling to maintain the balance between news and entertainment, and asking for increased public participation through polls and surveys, blogs can be labeled as info-tainment sources that totally fit into the journalistic frame! Well, as for those who would raise eyebrows about sexually explicit blogs, ask them to have a look at the sleazy headlines in print, and raunchy stories on broadcast that are roped in to generate maximum viewership.
Journalism is about telling stories, either yours or someone else's. As long as there are millions of people, there are millions of stories waiting to be told. As long as someone is reading, who cares whether you put it on your blog or read it in the morning paper?