There Is A Difference Between A Blogger And A Journalist
Lately, I've been seeing a pattern when it comes to the stuff I write here. People seem to think I'm a crack reporter, giving people the skinny on all the latest news. You guys. That is soooooo not true. I am in no way, shape, or form a journalist. I know that in our modern era of... photoshop and fake websites and all that, it can be confusing. I mean, sure, I took one journalism class in college. But it was just enough to know how to write a news story, and journalism ethics (that's basically just be impartial and don't get involved personally in the story). But other than that.... no. Let me tell you the difference.
I know sometimes we put local news up on our sites. The news department writes those. If it has something to do with a crime report, politics or a community event, most of the time those are written by actual reporters. The tone of the post is serious, written in the third person (no mention of I, Me, You, or Us, for example) and never uses informal slang words. There is no reference to or influence of the reporter on the story. There's no opinion in it, just stated fact of what happened. "This person was arrested. The Governor said this. There was an accident here." The point of a news story is to inform you. It's meant to tell you something you might need to know.
Meanwhile, a blogger, like myself, writes in a conversational tone. I try my best to write to you in a way that should feel like I'm talking to you. I tell you what I think, what I feel, what I've done, what's going on in my life, and all that good stuff. I am routinely sarcastic or silly. I use slang words and punctuation for emphasis. I will make a joke whenever I can. Most of the time, when I'm writing something, it's something to entertain you. Sure, I might write about a local event from time to time, but if I do, it's based on something charitable or fun, not something that's breaking news.
Now having said that, I don't mind when people let me know if I got a detail wrong or something. For example, last week I wrote that post about a story I heard, the Screaming Lady of Green Road. And, well, in typical ME fashion, I got North and South confused. It's something I do All. The. Time. It's something strange in my brain, I always confuse directions. Heck, half the time I get left and right mixed up.
But to treat that post as news? That just seems..... crazy. Of course it's not news. It's a local urban legend. To me, news is something important that you need to know. My post was something you don't NEED to know, but it could entertain you. Really, I just wanted to know if anybody else had heard about it, and what they thought about it. That's really a lot of what I do, I want to connect with and entertain YOU. I want your opinion, I want your take on things. I love to talk to listeners on the phone or on social media. It helps me make a better show or a better blog post if you tell me what you like and what you think. After all, you're the one reading it.
So yeah, letting me know I goofed is not something that bothers me. And I get that not everyone is going to like everything I write. Feel free to disagree. But please, don't think that I'm trying to hold myself to a standard of a journalist. Let me give you an example.
Look at that guy right there. That's Carson Daly. You probably know him from The Voice. He does some other shows, I think. He does a competent job, seems to be a good guy. He's a host. That's his gig. Now imagine if there was a catastrophic national emergency that happened during a live episode of The Voice. What do you think would happen? Are they going to tell Carson Daly to tell the world the Zombie Apocalypse has happened? No way. They're going to cut to the NBC newsroom and Lester Holt is going to tell you that. The days of Howard Cosell announcing John Lennon's death on Monday Night Football are long over. The only time I would tell you something newsy would be if I was telling you what the weather is like, or if there was a special announcement on traffic, or if maybe I was trying to help a charity. Anything else would be covered by the News Department. Crime, politics, stuff like that - that's news.
I hope that's evident, anyway. I mean, I'm a goofball. Would you really want me to be the one to tell you about an assault or break in or something? No way! You'd want someone serious who actually knows what they're doing!
Basically, I'm a blogger, not a journalist. And I hope that's enough.