Is there space for bloggers in the journalism industry?

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I recently gave a talk about my experience working in journalism, social media and blogging. During the day I was asked what the difference was between content and journalism.

The truth is, there is no difference in my mind.

I graduated as a journalist but I live now as a blogger and content creator. The two have very different stereotypes surrounding them but ultimately they are the same thing.

Both involve writing, photos and video, and trying to get your work seen by as many people in your target audience as possible.

Sure journalism might be more serious at times and uncover important topics and investigations. But blogging can do that as well.

Now there’s been a lot of talk in the media about whether or not it’s time for bloggers to just bugger off. And if there’s actually any room in this content creating world for bloggers and influencer.

So naturally being a blogger, content creator and journalist I thought I’d throw my ten cents in.

If you want the short TL:DR version then the answer is YES. If you want to know why read on.

The reason I applied to do a journalism degree was because I liked to write fan-fiction in my early teens and I needed to pick a course that would see my fictional writing as a skill.

It took me half of my first year to start to understand what Journalism was and why I wanted to be involved in it.

For me journalism was about creating meaningful content that people want to engage with.

And although the majority of this is usually news because people want to know what’s going on in their area. It can be so much more than that.

Journalism for me is content creating. It’s photo journalism and telling a story without any words.

A three thousand word feature article about something you’re interested in.

It’s a review of the latest movie or mascara.

Or somebody sharing their story and experiences.

Journalism is becoming blogging, content creating, viral videos and social media. Because the world is constantly changing and so are our needs.

I rarely sit down and watch the news on TV unless something drastic happens. Nor do I buy a newspaper or actively check the news on an app.

Instead everything I consume is through social media.

Whether that’s blogs, videos or articles.

Everything is social first now and honestly I think journalists could learn a lot from bloggers.

But I also think bloggers need to learn a lot from journalists.

It’s all about balance and right now there isn’t any.

(Generic assumptions about to be made – don’t be made. I know it’s not everyone but it’s a common theme)

Bloggers sadly aren’t blogging anymore. But instead just focusing on the photos and videos and swipe ups they can do to earn money.

Gone are the days when I sat down with a brew to read an in-depth blog post by someone I followed.

But the same thing is happening with news websites.

It’s either click-bait headlines, shock breaking news articles with only 2 sentences in them – all to get website clicks and advertising money.

Or it’s the same viral videos of a giraffe giving brith which I’ve seen across all media platforms that day week – she’s really holding on.

I get it, journalists and bloggers alike are battling for reads, views and clicks. But it doesn’t all have to be the same.

Bloggers – those who are actually still writing in-depth pieces rather than just sponsored posts and reviews – are actually bringing something new to the table.

They’re thinking outside the box of how to produce content.

Everything has purpose form the links to the images. All of which has been carefully thought out, planned and taken themselves.

Bloggers get to give us this inside view into what life is really like – to a point – and the everyday struggles, triumphs, worries and celebrations of the average person.

Where as journalism keeps us in check with all the latest goings on and what we should probably know about.

Bloggers and influencers get a lot of stick in the media world.

Although some media organisations should pull back a bit, they shouldn’t pull back altogether.

It’s the journalists on the outside that hold us to account when it comes to unrealistic photos of life on social media.

I’d like to think that most people look at that infamous photo of Scarlett and her extravagant breakfast and balloons and realise that her mornings aren’t actually like that.

But sadly we live in a world where my 12 year-old niece can consume this type of content.

Making it easier for younger people to think this is what life is going to be like when they grows up.

But it’s an important thing for the world to be given a reality check and step back and realise that not everything we seen on social media is real.

At the same time there is a lack of respect for influencers and bloggers in the journalism industry.

Whenever I’ve had interviews or spoken to people in the industry about my blog, many of them turn their nose up at it.

It’s branded as a cute little hobby and something that I’ll grow out of.

What journalists fail to realise is that influencers like Scarlett take hours or maybe even days planning a simple photo like the one she was ridiculed for.

She spends her money setting everything up.

Probably takes hundreds of photos only to pick a few, spend hours editing them only to then upload it.

Not to mention all of the admin and behind the scenes work she had to do to secure that sponsored post and make the client happy.

I have to also admit that us bloggers and influencers are very quick to come down hard on the mainstream media whenever a bad word is said about the industry.

It’s almost like an us vs them mentality.

As someone who trained to be a journalist I understand just how hard the job can be.

Journalists don’t write one blog post a day. Instead they have a target of 7-10 articles to get out a day for the website – plus stuff to fill the newspaper or magazine.

They have to pitch ideas to their editor, interview people (who rarely want to speak to you) and most of the time write about things they don’t even want to write about.

As a blogger I relish in the freedom I have to create the content I want.

The industry is saturated – there’s no denying that. But that doesn’t meant that there isn’t room for everyone.

When the truth is we’re all apart of the same industry and we all have the same goals. Create content, tell a story, get website views, make money.

So let’s stop this us vs them and just create content for the better.

Let me know your thoughts on this and if you think something needs to change with the blogger/journalist relationship?

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2 Comments

  1. March 18, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    I love that you decided to speak about this, and think more people need to read it. I did a Masters in Journalism and think the two really go hand in hand and we should work together, instead of competing šŸ™‚

    K x ginandbiscuits.co.uk

    • March 18, 2019 / 4:10 pm

      Thanks Iā€™m glad you liked it. As a journalist and blogger I think there are so many things the two could learn from each other!

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