This might be one of the least funny blog posts I’ve written (or will write) but I was tweeting about this the other day and I had to let this out.
Print is dying. Not a novel idea, everyone knows at this point that newspapers and magazines are struggling. Borders is even closing all their stores. Everyone has a computer and people are going green. There is one battle, however, that people may not be aware of, journalists vs. bloggers. While I’m sure many bloggers consider themselves journalists, it should be noted that generally there is a difference between the two.
First of all, anyone can be a blogger (look at me!) so there is a lot of garbage to rummage through (look at me!) but a good blogger can go up against a good journalist any day. The main part about becoming a good writer is just writing a lot and bloggers can do plenty of that.
Then there is the other difference: volume. Bloggers just put out more material. It might be shorter in length, but good bloggers post often. Now some may say quality over quantity, which may be true, but what quality might be lost with blogs I argue is made up with timeliness and precision. Timeliness is obvious, bloggers can just post whenever they want and if an editor is involved for some reason, they know to act fast. It’s the precision which inspired me to write this blog post. You might have heard the term burying the lead before, which refers to a writer taking the most pertinent information (the lead) and putting it too far down in the article (therefore burying it). Journalists try to avoid this. For proof, go read an article about something that spans five or more paragraphs. You’ll notice (generally) the article starts getting pretty boring near the end of it. That’s because all the juicy stuff is at the top of the article. The ultimate example of this is reading a headline of an article on The Onion and realizing that’s all you need, the funny quip at the top. Bloggers don’t have this problem. Since they pump out so much volume, the articles are shorter and to the point with the boring stuff cut out. It doesn’t feel like a chore reading the whole thing. If you want the boring stuff you click on a link in the blog or check Wikipedia.