Journalism has changed drastically since its’ beginning. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a Journalist is “a writer who aims at a mass medium” or “a person who keeps a journal.” The thing is, that journalists are no longer just “writers”, and simply keeping a journal really doesn’t make you a “journalist”.
Bloggers are interesting because blogs truly combine these two definitions. A blog is many times equivalent to what people would be writing in a journal or a diary. The difference is the fact that, just like the definition of “journalist”, bloggers want to share this writing with a mass medium. The other difference is that the blog readers get to interact with the blogger and other readers. Bouncing thoughts and ideas off of each other add to the journalism experience a layer that was never there with traditional journalism. Robert Niles wrote a great article on how important this audience is, in “Newspaper columnists ought to be the perfect bloggers. So why aren’t more doing it well?“.
What this definition lacks is that most people who consider themselves journalists, generally cover the news. Once, in class I even has a Professor laugh at a girl who after saying she wanted to be a journalist, said that she wanted to be an anchor on E! News. This is what separates old journalism from new journalism.
Many journalists who have been in the field for years only look at hard hitting news, many of which appears in newspapers, as actual journalism.
Younger journalists look at journalism completely differently. Anyone spreading information could be a journalist, and journalism isn’t limited to written words. It can be a reporter on television, or a photographer with a flickr account, or even anyone who starts up a blog. Journalism can be as versatile as the journalist wants to be.
Versatility is quickly becoming expected from employers though. The journalists that are getting hired are the ones that are multitalented. They can research, deliver, edit, take pictures, take video, create a webpage, the new age journalist needs to be able to it all.
On top of all of these skills, is what the journalist has interest in. Journalism used to just be news. Now it is vast in options. Anything one can write about, make videos about, or take pictures of, can become the journalist medium.
Adding your opinion, like many do in blogs, is also what make the new age of journalism interesting. In “Blogging Between the Lines,” Dana Hull expresses how these opinions add spice to how we now get our information.
All of this new takes on journalism make it much richer and interesting than it once was.