Wednesday, November 16, 2005


BLOGS: What defines "citizen journalism" -- advertising?


Citizen journalism
Does advertising on a blog make a blogger a citizen journalist ... or, does
AOL/Time Warner paying $24+million for WeblogsInc make the network citizen

Monday, November 14, 2005

By Bene Diction

I looked at what defines citizen journalism (Publish or aggregate?) in an
article last May and noted that while the way we get our news is changing,
how news is made is not. That's an interesting factoid to remember, and is
partially reflected in a recent study on people still preferring to get
their news from traditional media.

Which then brings up the question: Does advertising on a blog make a blogger
a citizen journalist?

Or, does AOL/Time Warner paying $24+million for WeblogsInc make the network
citizen journalism? Event and product specific blogs don't pretend to be.

More specifically, is Pajama Media citizen journalism? Opinion and
commentary have their place, and drawing in advertising revenue and using
main stream news aggregators may draw marketers and bloggers willing to sign
away their content for three months. An editorial board does not make
journalism, it draws marketers to a cluster of blogs and readers so they can
target them with their ads. Revenue streams will come from advertisers,
there is no overhead for the network and each blogger signing a contract
makes a decision about how much money and time they can afford to give out
to gather reliable content.

If you look at comments under Jeff Jarvis post, I don't wear PJ's, you'll
see US partisan politics has already surfaced, and has since Pajama Media
announced it was forming. Blogs and bloggers network, whether it be through
blogrolls, aggregators, portals, webrings or actual networks. Human beings
are social creatures that are attracted to those of like mind. That doesn't
mean anyone writing online can't break news, it does mean that blogging
networks are not going to be replacing main stream media anytime soon.

Disseminating information does not make citizen journalism. A launch party
in New York City this week does not make citizen journalism, co-operation
between journalists and bloggers does not make citizen journalism, hype and
advertising money does not make citizen journalism.

So I ask, what does make citizen journalism?

Bene Diction is a journalist and well known evangelical blogger at Bene
Diction Blogs On, and focuses on reviews of popular websites and
technology, as well as serving as culture editor for Spero News.

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