Just what is news?

For the most pertinent news regarding an event at the importance level of the status of Sony’s Playsation Network, those interested would not have turned to the New York Times and other major newspapers, who had more arguably important matters to cover. Rather, they could turn to such blogs as Ars Technica and Destructoid to get the latest updates on the situation.

The importance of the story aside, these blogs served as valuable sources of information for those who wanted to know. But does that make these bloggers journalists? Blogs vary in their level of professionalism. Ars Technica and Destructoid have editors who, ideally, vet stories before they get published. But anyone can start a simple WordPress blog, just like this one, and have an equal platform to publish their views. Should those at Daily Kos and Free Republic and wherever else be said to be doing journalism?

There is certainly an element, amongst both older and younger journalists, that would refuse to bestow that title upon bloggers. The notion of anyone putting out anything and living by their own standard of ethics and conduct goes against the grain of the most established names in journalism. Of course, creative fields rejecting something new as not being “legitimate” is nothing new. “Is rap really music?” “Is this work really art?” “Should this really count as literature?” And so on. With age, most large scale additions simply come to be accepted.

And it is not the case that mainstream journalistic outfits do not have bloggers. Nytimes.com has bloggers, for example, and most journalists blog and tweet on the side to promote themselves. Huffington Post even made it big on a platform consisting almost entirely of bloggers. If bloggers are not journalists it is because our definition of “journalism” has not caught up with the modern era, because news and blogs have become nearly inseparable at this stage.

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