Bloggers vs. Professional Journalists/Copywriters
Thread poster: Lingua 5B

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 08:21
English to Croatian
+ ...
Aug 2, 2011

I am not sure where to post this topic, so I'd like to ask the moderator to move it somewhere else if it's not appropriate here. We don't have a forum dedicated to (copy)writing, therefore this was the closest thematic form I could find.

In the last decade or so, we've seen a flood of bloggers on the Internet, so I can't stop wondering how it makes professional journalists feel. Is it something like "I spent a summer with my aunt in Austria so I decided to start translating from German" vs. professional translator with credentials?

There are people trained for (copy)writing, etc, and you can really see the difference, particularly at the level of writing flow and content coherence.

I don't deny that some specialized bloggers (for specific topics) are specialists in their filed, but does it necessarily make them specialists in writing?

I'd like your opinions on this, thanks.





[Edited at 2011-08-02 14:09 GMT]


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Aug 2, 2011

Bloggers are usually writing for free, while journalists are (hopefully) paid for what they do... I don't think they are really a competition, i.e. I don't think that some journalists are going to lose their work because of the bloggers.

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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:21
English to German
+ ...
Not quite totally correct... Aug 2, 2011

Bloggers are not really working/writing for free, they also try to get paid for their work. In the blogging field, this works with either a hunt for visits and then get paid ads on the blog, or with embedding ways to let visitors voluntarily pay something when they visit a page [like e.g. with flattr].
The quality differences in the blogging field are as high as within the media field, too (you will probably not want to compare the Daily Mail with let's say the Guardian...).
Also, some journalists have their own blogs and use blogging as an activity aside of their work for newspapers.

At the bottom field, you however have a mass of bloggers providing crap - but there are many ways to do so. You have people who at least are interested in the field they are writing about and who do some research for their texts, but have too poor language skills to provide quality content (e.g. who hardly can write a single sentence without weaving a few spelling and puncuation errors in). Although your eyes hurt while reading, you still can find some valuable information about the fields they are working in (sometimes even better researched information than you could find in a quick re-post of an errorfree but poorly reasearched and too quickly written news agency message which happens often enough).

Then you have also a mass of people who blog only for the few ad cents their posts can earn them: here, the real crap starts. Bloggers on this level mostly outsource the writing to India or the Philippines where "freelancers" land up writing texts for prices like 1USD for 5 articles. It's basically just in order to get ASCII char chains with specified keywords, in order to simply fill the place above, between and below ads.



[Edited at 2011-08-02 13:00 GMT]


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:21
German to English
+ ...
Bloggers do not claim to be journalists. Aug 2, 2011

Miroslav Jeftic wrote:

Bloggers are usually writing for free, while journalists are (hopefully) paid for what they do... I don't think they are really a competition, i.e. I don't think that some journalists are going to lose their work because of the bloggers.


I do not think your analogy is a good one. Firstly, unless they are in fact professional journalists who blog, no blogger actually claims to be a journalist. I doubt whether there are many bloggers who actually even want to be journalists. Some bloggers are better than some journalists.
Some bloggers do not write at all - they take photographs, do drawings and designs, post lyrics to other peoples songs, etc. By the same token, I doubt very many bloggers have been offered jobs as journalists by mainstream newspapers or magazines.

I do not feel threatened, or even bother to get annoyed, by people who think they can translate because they have spent the summer with an Austrian aunt, just as I presume journalists do not feel threatened, or are usually too busy to worry about poorly written blogs.

Many people blog (as I do) because of a desire to express themselves, nothing more. Some do it better than others, that's all.


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Sorina Bumbacea
Romania
Local time: 09:21
English to Romanian
+ ...
Maybe is just the time for transition... Aug 2, 2011

apk12 wrote:

Also, some journalists have their own blogs and use blogging as an activity aside of their work for newspapers.

At the bottom field, you however have a mass of bloggers providing crap - but there are many ways to do so. You have people who (...) have too poor language skills to provide quality content (e.g. who hardly can write a single sentence without weaving a few spelling and puncuation errors in). Although your eyes hurt while reading, you still can find some valuable information about the fields they are working in.



[Edited at 2011-08-02 13:00 GMT]


I don't quite know the situation in other languages, or the exact professional evolution of foreign journalists, but in Romania it seems that the best journalists have successfully migrated from classic media to the new one. Even though some national newspapers unfortunately closed down business, I was glad to be still able to read my preferred writers on their blogs. Their style has the same quality and nothing in their sharp writing has died, on the contrary, they gained from the interactivity. And by the ads I have seen, the blogs I am referring to seem to be successful little businesses.

On the other hand, some of our politicians look at the blogosphere with a bit of greed and started to write blogs (by themselves). I am trying to be as generous as I can, when I say that some of our politicians' blogs lack any sense of style, the rhetoric is empty and the logic is sometimes missing (and I am not referring to the fact that such writers are oblivious to the hues and shades of languages, I would settle just for a good use of grammar). Although I have noticed promotion trying to boost traffic on such blogs, these are only rather funny without the writer's intent. And no, public comments are generally not allowed.

In conclusion, I do belive that in this democratic environment, the blogosphere, you can not cheat on long term.


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