Blogs Killed the Journalism Star

Well, actually, not really.  But I’ve been thinking about journalism and blogs this week, for three reasons.

First, I received a couple comments and then a personal email regarding a post that I wrote earlier in the week.  The correspondence came from a friend who is also an academic, and she challenged the lack of sophistication in my post, saying that I was slinging around terminology in a sloppy manner.  In an email response I agreed, and then went on to say that blogging is a medium that is different-in-kind than the kind of work she’s used to doing.  I then joked that I hoped she wouldn’t have the same criticism of my dissertation!

Next, I read this piece by my favorite blogger, Andrew Sullivan.  Andrew really has been a shaping force in the blogging medium.  In has Atlantic essay, he argues that the blogging form is still evolving, but that it is turning out to be a uniquely postmodern form of communication, one that lends itself to quick, timely, opinionated thoughts.

Money quote: “For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”

Sullivan goes on to argue that traditional daily journalism (e.g., daily newspapers) and long-form journalism (The Atlantic, The New York Time Sunday Magazine) become more relevant and more important in this era.  Blogging merely represents a new facet in the evolving constellation of media.  Really, I urge you to read Sullivan’s whole essay if blogs are a part of your life.

Finally, I read this post by Jeff Jarvis on the death of newspaper journalism.  I have a great affinity for daily newspaper journalism, in that my grandfather rose from copy boy to executive editor of the Minneapolis Tribune (all without a college degree), and one of my good friends is a journalist at a daily.  Jarvis takes on the conventional wisdom of the day that says that blogs and craigslist have killed newspapers.  Not so fast, he says.  What is killing newspapers is the lack of imagination among journalists.

Money quote: “No, the essence of the problem is that we thought the internet represented just a new gadget and not a fundamental change in society, the economy, and thus journalism.”

As I prepare to move my blog over to Beliefnet in coming weeks, am thinking about exactly how I see blogging and my role in the blogosphere — particularly among those who are interested in reading about God and spirituality and church and religion.  It will be, I am sure, an evolving conversation.


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