But first, the disclaimer:
I know blogging isn’t trying to be journalism, and I know every blogger does not fancy herself a journalist. Clearly, I feel that blogging is less dignified than other media (which is why I do it), but I also understand it’s not a competition and the distinction is somewhat blurred, so it’s really just a moot point.
But just so we’re clear and so no none of you pragmatists piddle on the carpet because you think I’m being all nit-picky and idealistic, it’s the bloggers feigning a sense of journalistic duty in their daily oatmeal postings who irk me to no end, and who I am snarking on here today. Most of you know what I’m talking about, so I won’t harp on it. (And if you don’t, you’re lucky.)
On with the show:
10. Journalists know the difference between libel and slander. Bloggers use the term slander when referring to written content, and libel when referring to likelihood. Example: I was slandered by a popular ladies’ magazine; My smoothie was libel [sic] to spill right over the top of my bowl!
9. Journalists proudly uphold a fierce standard of integrity by not accepting free gifts or swag in exchange for an article (or they have no integrity; they just don’t want to get fired). Bloggers scarf up every free protein powder and compression sleeve that arrives on their doorstep; participating brands are rewarded with a glowing “review.”
8. Journalists are alcoholics. Bloggers have eating disorders. (And if you’re questioning which one has more dignity, clearly, it’s alcoholism.)
7. Journalists do research and report facts. A blogger will fake knowledge on a subject or rely on readers to fill in the blanks. Also, if you’re a blogger, asking your Twitter friends for anecdotal evidence totally counts as “research.”
6. A journalist plays the role of a neutral and detached third party. A blogger is only too happy to insert her personal opinion into the subject matter (along with a melodramatic self-portrait that is meant to provide an illustration of the subject matter.)
5. A journalist feverishly works a deadline, researching multiple stories at once. A blogger will insert a photo or inspirational quote in place of actual content.
4. Journalists use AP Style. Bloggers make up words.
3. Bloggers can make a sentence go on for three paragraphs, bury the lede, not even have a point, and still receive critical acclaim due to a strategically posted photo of a celebrity. (Actually, I believe this is also the policy of USA Today.)
2. Journalists fact-check, proofread, and print retractions when errors are made. Bloggers go, “I knew that. I was just tired!”
1. Journalists are overworked. Bloggers are overprivileged.