The way we view news has changed.
When our grandfathers listened to radio addresses by Churchill and Chamberlain about the state of the war in the rest of Europe, we receive information in real time. Papers like The Daily Mail and The Sun cover news that is as varied as The Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe. Inbound marketing as a whole never even existed, and yet here we are.
The media landscape has had significant changes brought to it, for sure. Newspaper and magazine subscription is at an all-time low. Print media is now being challenged by the speed and timeliness of digital media. Citizen involvement in media and politics is at an all-time high. More people’s voices want to be heard, with social media playing a significant role in public participation.
With the transition from analogue to digital, it has often been asked if self-published writers and bloggers can be considered part of journalism. The role is essentially the same, in that, both brings news and current events to the public domain. Bloggers are even considered to be as highly influential as respected media institutions in regards to their respective industries.
Should we be worried? Yes, and no.
A key feature of self-publishing is that you represent certain agenda or certain areas of concentration. Whether you are re-blogging memes on Tumblr or else writing about the day-to-day struggles of working women, there is a need to promote a certain cause or agenda, or else facilitate discussion on certain topics. You can see this in the popularity of blogs with reviews, travel and leisure blogs, and even the rise of video blogs or vlogs. Content is now being optimised, a key feature of inbound marketing. It is also easily traceable due to the use of back-linking.
There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, we search for it – this is why certain blogs or topics can be trending, or else a little-known writer can achieve fame in a matter or clicks. There is a certain kismet involved, even without Google analytics and algorithms. When your content is good, or bad, accusatory or inflammatory, informative or summative, it leaves the most impact when you elicit a viscerally emotional response in people. Both can lead you to do that, despite their vastly different objectives.
Journalism, in its purest sense, holds no advocacy other than to promote the cause of journalism itself. These are trained professionals who are taught to value the objectivity of every story, and making certain to hear every side. Whilst most publications seem to be beholden to their parent companies, one cannot deny their power and influence even in the digital age.
Self-marketing content, whether user-generated or inspired, is what separates bloggers from journalists. This doesn’t mean that one is necessarily better than the other; in fact, reading from a good mix of both helps to enrich one’s own opinions on certain issues. Since both serve different functions, the duality of their roles in the media landscape of today make for an enriched consumer experience. Different media caters to different needs, after all.
- Blogging vs. Journalism: The Ongoing Debate, TheNextWeb.com
- Blogger vs Journalist: The Ultimate Debate Solved [Infographic], EssayTigers.com