As a blogger and journalist-in-training, I have always found the Will Bloggers Replace Journalism? debate irksome and misguided.
Show me these mythical bloggers — typing feverishly in their parents’ basements, still in pajamas, presumably — who are plotting the overthrow of journalism. Good luck finding them, because the only ones debating that question are either old-media journalists anxious about losing their monopoly or outsiders who understand neither blogging nor journalism.
Earlier this year, a survey conducted by PR Week and PR Newswire found that 52 percent of bloggers consider themselves journalists — cue the snorts and tongue clucking.
But there’s a substantial overlap between bloggers and journalists: 35 percent of bloggers are/were professional journalists, according to a 2009 study by Technorati.
Here are some other stats to consider, found via Marketing Pilgrim:
That same survey, conducted among working reporters and editors, found that 30 percent of those surveyed have their own blog.
Their figures back up those of Technorati, which also had this to add:
“Despite being perceived by some as enemies of the traditional media, bloggers actually carry a journalistic pedigree. 35 percent of all respondents have worked within the traditional media as a writer, reporter, producer, or on-air personality.
By way of contrast, consider that less than 1% of the US labor force was employed as a journalist in 2006. Monthly magazines and daily newspapers are the best-represented types of media outlets among those bloggers who have worked in the traditional media, with radio a strong third.
And the true overlap reveals itself in the 27 percent of respondents who both blog and work in traditional media.”
The Bloggers vs. Journalism debate promotes a false dichotomy. In truth, bloggers and journalists have a symbiotic relationship that’s increasingly heading towards convergence: a convergence of Old and New that will one day form Now.
So the next time someone suggests that bloggers will kill journalism, just remember: Journalists can be self-loathing; but not that self-loathing.
[75% of Journalists Get Story Ideas from Blogs | Marketing Pilgrim]