Nicholas Lemann of The New Yorker has contributed a thoughtful piece to the debate over what a citizen journalism might look like, Amateur Hour: Journalism with journalists. My guess is that the blogosphere will take it badly, minimizing the argument as another “journalism vs. bloggers” rant. It’s not.
The debate is not whether bloggers are journalists, though many believe they are, but whether there is a process, the one professionalized as “journalism,” that is valuable enough to preserve in an era when barriers to communication are radically lowered. As a journalist-turned-turned blogger, I obviously see blogging as a channel for getting ideas out. I also recognize that what I am doing here and on RatcliffeBlog is not often journalistic. In my case, I draw on the rhetorical styles of essay writing much more often in my blogs. As Lemann points out, though, many bloggers mimic what they think is a good lede and call it journalism.
Over the past couple weeks, since the largely pointless blow-up between myself and another blogger on ZD Net, I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of what goes on in this genre of writing….
Read the whole thing: » Journalism of all kinds and the process of growing | Rational rants | ZDNet.com