Blog Journalism: The World As Editor

Comments in blogs keep the blogger honest. The world becomes the Editor – a scary brute indeed!

Jeff Jarvis has responded to New York Times slamming bloggers as unethical and without standards by pointing out that blogging is “process of journalism” whereas mainstream media is “product journalism”. 

Darlin leads with TechCrunch and Gawker sharing bogus rumors of Apple buying Twitter. He acknowledges that TechCrunch said in its post that it could not confirm the story. But still, he uses it to jump to the first of his broad-brush generalizations: “Such news judgment is not unusual among blogs covering tech. For some blogs, rumors are their stock in trade.” Couldn’t one say the same thing about political reporters who spread rumors and trial balloons, knowing they are just that, or business reporters feeding rumors and speculation about mergers or firings? Blogs are hardly alone in scoop mentality. Newspapers invented scoops.

The blogs that try to be accurate follow this: 


Blogging: Process of Journalism
Blogging: Process of Journalism

Not all blogs are created equal of course. Some are shock jocks (shock blogs) like Perez Hilton or maybe Valleywag? (dunno, don’t read Valleywag myself). Others are more highbrow. Like this blog, fer instance. Heh. Just like tabloids vs oh, I dunno, anything by Murdoch. (that was a heh again). 

The only thing I want to note is that bloggers have the same challenge that newspapers have today: we have a vocal audience. A very grumpy, sneery, pedantic, audience that love to find fault with our blog posts, create World War Three over a misspelling, and basically flame our poor shaking typing fingers. Ow! Burnies! Publish and be damned? Blog and be damned/cussed thrice over! 

The online community is our editor. And the community has greater knowledge collaboratively than any newspaper or blogger. And the community is speaking back. We HAVE to be accurate, or else have our inaccuracies shared with the world in a public display of humiliation. The World Is Our Editor….

… just a shame the world turned into a grumpy, chain smoking ol geezer behind a desk, that loves to highlight your many imperfections as a writer to the whole sniggering office/world. Like some irate deskbound patriarch popping antacids. 


The Editor Just Read Your Piece...
The Editor Just Read Your Piece...

If we, as a bloggers, care about our reputation at all, we watch what we post. We have to. Reputation is the currency in which we get paid – not drinkies at press launches, no Christmas bonus and not with a weekly salary. We (mostly) want to be acknowledged as thought leaders, original thinkers, not some inaccurate, rumor spewing, half baked noodley idea generators. 

And mainstream media is for the most part going out of it’s way to withhold that respect, the Payload. Shame, cos bloggers are probably their target audience – those interested in finding, filtering, discussing, forwarding the News. A real shame. 

Disclaimer for my most pedantic readers: I spell some words in American way, some in ‘Australian’, also,  not all editors are grumpy mean bastards (some are women), some journalists get paid freelance, fortnightly, monthly, etc etc. 

By the way, The New York Times doesn’t have “readers” any more, they have “users”. Which means they still don’t understand. We aren’t “users” of an information tool, we are “members” of an information community. Expect another change soon.

Similar Posts


  1. I confess I grow weary of the Bloggers versus Journalists shtick. I was in attendance for a talk to that effect at the Sydney Writers’ Festival though after the “Journalists are ethical” implication was unveiled, I groaned, rolled not so much my eyes but my entire head, and walked out. (Though I must also take this opportunity to applaud Antony Loewenstein’s efforts in defending us lowly blogging types.)

    I guess some people get it and some people don’t. They may never get it. Sucks to be them, I say. lol

    John Lacey’s last blog post..The Blogosphere: Part I

  2. So true and totally agree with John.

    Great post. Get over it MSM. I love the idea of being a user. More like being used I think (spot the commercial stuff).

    Moi I prefer the “inaccurate, rumor spewing, half baked noodley idea generators.” moniker. I wear it with pride. I even have a disclaimer to that effect. Oh and funny helps.

    BTW your site looks way snazzy.

    Colin Campbell’s last blog post..Cooking by Numbers Corner

  3. Oh I wasn’t in the blog vs journalism debate. I don’t bother – I absolutely know where we are going and can’t be arsed preaching to the unconverted.

    Anyway, this piece is to point out that many bloggers are in the same boat as MSM.

    So @John yeppers I lol at silliness from NYT. And I check that they are running true to type: Facebook wastes company money? Check. MySpace is for Predators? Check. Twitter is for vacuous airheads? Check. And bloggers will publish anything, unchecked, unverified and probably defamatory? Check!

    @ColinCampbell the interesting thing with bloggers is that readers figure out pretty quickly whether the site is publishing press releases with comments, or linkbaiting for vehement discussion or coming up with noodly kooky ideas 🙂 or a serious thought leader site. Just like with newspapers, the news we get from the local rag compared with the coverage in The Fin Review informs us how many grains of salt we need to take. Same with blogs.

    Glad you like the site. It has of course been on the new domain name and wordpressed since January, so clearly you have been busy? 😛

Comments are closed.