Are Professional Bloggers Journalists?

The emergence of the internet has led to many innovations, from how we go about buying and selling, to entertainment and many other facets of human living. Significantly, getting news and information on current events from the internet has become a routine for many people. This fact has led to the huge decrease of newspaper readership. In fact, many newspapers, local dailies, and magazines have closed down because their revenues can no longer keep up with the costs of printing newspapers and the salaries of correspondents, writers, and editors.

While newspapers and other publications shutting down is a major blow to the news and information industry, the advent of the internet has also led to the creation of online journalism, and with it a new breed of journalists. The numbers of online correspondents, writers, and editors have been seen to increase through the years, which indicates that while printed media is suffering from the skyrocketing popularity of the internet, many of its workers have found employment in it.

Online journalism is not the only source of news and information in the digital world, however. Along with the Internet, blogging has become a common platform for many people to dispense news, information, and other things on various subjects. From certain angles, bloggers can be likened to journalists because they do research on different topics and present them to the world via digital media. In many respects, certain institutions have elevated some bloggers from amateur writers to hold them in the same regard as journalists.

That said, many professional journalists and related organizations hotly contest such recognition. For them, professional bloggers are not journalists. Admittedly, there are several differences that separate the two professions.

For one, journalists have been trained in the practice of journalism. They went to school for this. They use their skills to gather and report the truth while at the same time, apply their brand of ethics. On the other hand, a blogger may simply be a person who runs or owns a blog. They may research for information, conduct interviews, and present news and information like most journalists do, but bloggers are not bound by the moral canons and ethical practices that apply to many media practitioners.

Despite protestations from many journalistic groups, blogging has become a lucrative trade. In the United States, professional bloggers can earn somewhere around $17,750 – $51,280 a year, while the journalist salary is typically between $20,000 and $75,420 per year. These professional blogging rates only apply to bloggers whose writing and research skills are outstanding in some way. Not all bloggers have a good grasp of grammar, diction, or coherence; or other essentials like creative and captivating writing styles. These are some of the skills required by successful bloggers to engage readers effectively and keep them coming back whenever new content is published.

In the end, professional bloggers cannot be considered journalists. The dissimilarities are markedly clear. However, there are bloggers whose skills and dedication to creating quality content are on par with those who are schooled in journalism. If these are the standards from which employers gauge candidates for blogging positions, then there is no reason why the blogging profession cannot be of a comparable value.

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