Blogging and Journalism

J.D. Lasica posted a partial transcript of a panel discussion that he, Dan Gillmor, Rebecca Blood, Meg Hourihan, and Scott Rosenberg were on in front a group of journalism students. The discussion is terrific, because these folks represent a nice cross-section of journalists who blog and bloggers who have become journalists in a more traditional sense. (I'm also mentioned in passing, thank you, Dan.)

One of the points that I come away with from this discussion is that the real crux of the difference between journalism and personal blogging is a very fine amount of intermediation. Instead of the heavy intermediation that happens between a newspaper journalist writing and the account that appears in the newspapers, blogging journalism involves fewer people and fewer changes.

What's interesting about the nice reference to me in the article is how Dan puts a face on a point he's making: I like what was just mentioned about the individual expert who does something so well that in effect they become journalists in the traditional sense. For me, it's gone both directions: my blog has given me the credibility that's extended me back into a variety of print publications, including InfoWorld (see this coming Monday's edition), Macworld (Bluetooth knowledge), and The New York Times (although I was writing occasionally for them, the Wi-Fi blog has resulted in stories they've asked me to write or that I've pitched).

For freelancers, a blog like mine, on a focused topic, can truly change your career.