<![CDATA[Wirearchy :: Demos and de Tutor:
We learn about it from a fascinating new study, The Pro-Am Revolution, a 70-page paper from Demos in the UK. It barely mentions bloggers or journalism, and so it is perfect for sketching a larger pattern into which J-blogging fits.
The twentieth century was shaped by the rise of professionals in most walks of life. From education, science and medicine, to banking, business and sports, formerly amateur activities became more organised, and knowledge and procedures were codified and regulated. As professionalism grew, often with hierarchical organisations and formal systems for accrediting knowledge, so amateurs came to be seen as second-rate. Amateurism came to be to a term of derision. Professionalism was a mark of seriousness and high standards.
And of course this happened in journalism in the 1920s through 1940s. University training, professional societies, codes of ethics emerged. This movement created my institution, the J-school, as well as the standard of neutral, nonpartisan professionalism of which Howard Fineman spoke. Demos on the shift:
But in the last two decades a new breed of amateur has emerged: the Pro-Am, amateurs who work to professional standards. These are not the gentlemanly amateurs of old – George Orwell’s blimpocracy, the men in blazers who sustained amateur cricket and athletics clubs. The Pro-Ams are knowledgeable, educated, committed and networked, by new technology.