Blogging (see the video) has dramatically altered the concept of news from a purely professional endeavor to a phenomenon considered both professional and personal. The blog allows anyone to be a reporter and publisher, facilitating different versions of news, often for free. The blogging platform has revolutionized the way we share news and ideas by creating a universal media outlet for various people to express their diverse interests. Popular blogs like The Huffington Post cover world news while TechCrunch shares insights on new technology and gadgets. Unlike newspapers, blogs have the remarkable freedom to be topic-specific or to cover a wide spectrum of issues. Most importantly, however, is the power of the blogging personality. In “Breaking News: I’m Paid to Blog,” we take a look into how the ambiguous “professional blogger” constitutes a career, why professional blogging is difficult to isolate from journalism, and what remains as blogging’s distinct advantage over traditional press.

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Blogging as a profession? Seems like an interesting career choice, especially since most blogs are not created for the purpose of stable revenue. So when the Wall Street Journal named “blogging” America’s Newest Profession, it seemed a little odd. But apparently about 1.7 million people profit from blogging – and 452,000 see blogging as their primary source of income.

Wait a second …
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An article from the Wall Street Journal named “blogging” America’s Newest Profession. About 1.7 million people profit from blogging. From Clay Shirky, we learned that blogging is “mass amatuerization of publishing” but now some people’s full time job is blogging (i.e Perez Hilton). We will be focusing on the concept of “professional blogging” and “professional blogger.” Comparison between blogging professions and other forms of journalism. Some questions we will be exploring:

  • How professional blogging constitutes as a career
  • Are professional bloggers getting paid? how?
  • How “professional blogging” is reshaping the culture of online journalism?
  • Are “professional bloggers” considered journalists? What’s the difference? Do they have experience/knowledge in journalism?

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The Future of Journalism article discusses the growing trends in journalism and examines the current crisis it is currently in. Traditional newspapers are closing and many believe this signals the end of journalism as we know it.

However, some people think the so-called crisis journalism is in might be the best thing to ever happen to it.

Some consider this crisis as a sort of “purgative”. They believe the financial problems and sacking of journalists cleanses the field. Radical millenarians, as James Curran calls them, believe traditional news media only serves to promote the “overdog” and is a threat to true democracy. With traditional journalism being challenged, an opportunity is born for more progressive reporting to begin that were unable to gain footing when leading media conglomerates controlled the field.

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Clay Shirky focuses on the prevalence of “user generated content”  from social media sites in his book Here Comes Everybody. Shirky states that this is not “just the output of ordinary people with access to creative tools like word processors…it requires access to re-creative tools as well…that provide those same people with the ability to distribute their creations to others” (83). He cites Livejournal, Youtube, Myspace, Flickr, and Xanga as examples.

While I wouldn’t necessarily consider this to be “online journalism,” Shirky does provide a good foundation for further exploring said journalism. He juxtaposes the “neatness of traditional media” vs. “messiness of social media,” which I feel is the exact combination of these popular online journalism sites (96).

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