Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Meaningful Context

My old Journalism school pal Rogers Cadenhead makes an important distinction between journalists and bloggers:

Like many bloggers, I've had a lot to say about journalism over the years, and I internalized the self-glorifying notion that I practice a form of it here on Workbench. But after a few days of conducting interviews, checking facts and documenting all of my sources for an editor, I was reminded of a substantial difference between journalism and blogging that I had completely forgotten.


A blogger can feel good about his own standards of ethics and accuracy, but there's no cost for failing to meet them. Nobody gets drummed out of the blogosphere for getting something wrong, screwing over a source or writing things that bring shame upon your family. Making matters worse, your biggest mistakes may be rewarded by as much traffic as your best successes.

A working journalist has to worry about ethics and accuracy because your ass is on the line, along with that of your editors and the publication.

I can't think of a single blogger sued for libel or fired from a site over something he reported, and I've never read about one who did something fubar and thought to myself, "that poor sap will never blog again."

But as any reader of James Romenesko knows, professional journalists commit acts of career suicide on a daily basis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Getting fired for blogging has happened more than once...especially employees working for large corporations such as Microshaft or Gurgle to mention two where the companies claim trade secret violations or some crap like that. There is also the occasional students who rip their school or professors only to be dismissed. Go figure that one when the universities protect their crap ass extreme liberal professors. You have folks with sites close enough to the real deal who usually is ripping a product or at least scrutinizing it only to be served cease and disist or threatened with libel suits. I am not sure about the fallout or if there were suits filed or not but I know folks have been fired from jobs and dismissed from universities. Free speech is somewhat of a farse so on that note long live free speech: Cock ass and balls. Billary Clinton likes Jimmy Carter's cock...take your choice on that one but I think you know who I am talking about.