So this week’s reading was called “Here Comes Everybody” by Clay Shirky. It was about how the explosion in blogging has turned everybody out there into self-proclaimed journalists. I thought it was interesting, especially as a journalist myself because I’ve never really considered bloggers to be journalists. It’s kind of snobby for me to say that in order to be a real journalist you’ve got to have a byline in a newspaper or magazine, but that’s how I’ve always considered it to be.
But then, I read about how Trent Lott’s political career went down the drain as a result of blogs mentioning his comment at Strom Thurmond’s hundredth birthday party and it made me realize that the point that Shirky is trying to make is a good one. Just because something isn’t originally considered to be newsworthy, doesn’t mean that something newsworthy can’t come out of it. I think that sometimes journalists are so focused to get that one angle/headline/story that they lose sight of everything else and things just slip through. The Lott story was a good example of this.
I also thought that the story of Josh Wolf was interesting because it really made me rethink who I would consider to be a journalist. This really brings the whole question of “Who is a journalist?” into perspective. The rise of blogs has broadened the spectrum of who falls under that category and it makes me feel like all the schooling and training I’ve done to become a “gatekeeper” of the news is becoming less and less important because so many people are being let into the club. I feel like it has belittled the work I’ve put into this field.
So, how’s that for an uplifting read? I’m not saying that the world of journalism is something sacred or anything like that. I’m just saying that after thinking about what the reading is talking about, it makes me feel just that much less special.
1. How have things changed in terms of what’s considered “news” since blogging has entered the scene?
2. How has the term “journalist” changed since blogging has entered the scene?