Stop the Press. And the Mouseclick

I have so much to say this morning; so don`t be surprised if there`s more than one post today (much like a State of the Nation address, I`ll try to make it sound good, but it won`t necessarily be important or address anything relevant).

I welcome mail at my addie. Most of it is very general and there are plenty of blog notifications. Most of the time I get mail from individuals who have become friends. Some of it is from personal contacts and occasionally I will get hate mail. *gasp* Most of it is of the You think you have an opinion variety. Mostly I respond by saying… Um…no. Actually, I don`t think I have an opinion. That`s why my blog is mostly based on me and my boring existence.

Until yesterday…

So, I work in Communications and Media right? And I specialise in strategic communications and governance for large corporations. Right? I have a qualification in Journalism as well, but decided not to pursue that path as I am a capitalist and have too much of an opinion. At the moment, I work in the Financial Services Industry. I have also worked in a Section 21 company, at an Academic institution and in the Environmental sector. I`ve done the crappy PR stint (although good at it, I hate sucking up to people), I`ve done the Marketing stint (although good at it, I hate to lie to people) and I`ve done the Advertising stint (although good at…ur…well, nothing really. I`d do it again in a heartbeat). I am a specialist at what I do and when the sh*t hit`s the fan in the specific environment I work in; I`m at the coalface. I rock and roll (with bells on).

Ok, so everybody`s probably thinking, What`s with the CV and the ego trip?

No ego trip, but a CV of sorts. All of the above qualifies me for the job I do my career. My day job. My professional life. How I earn my moola.

However, all of the above does not qualify me for the right to blog. The fact that I have a laptop at my disposal and a little bit of cyberspace on gives me the right to blog. The fact that I am semi-literate and able to possibly string 2 words together into thought, gives me the right to blog. The fact that I have an opinion (right or wrong) and a desire to journal my own personal journey at this point in my life, gives me the right to blog.

I am trying to establish, ladies and gentleman, that occasionally I am not an idiot. Occasionally I know what I`m doing but more importantly, I am always willing to learn. To be advised. To entertain alternative ideas and opinions. Most importantly though, when I make a statement like

Damn…blogging is blogging. Journalism is journalism. Two totally different mediums. Each one as irresponsible and chaotic as the other on Chris Roper`s blog (The Looking Glass Wars), I am merely saying that because I have an opinion. It doesn`t make it right or wrong. It is my viewpoint on a certain issue of which I have experience with journalism and journalists, as well as blogging and bloggers.

Mr. Anonymous felt that; Quote What makes you think you`re a real blogger anyway??? Or that you have a right to a opinon (sic)????! You have no idea what real blogging is all about!!! We are the journalasts (sic) of the furture (sic) Unquote

Well now…I`m so sorry Mr. Anonymous…because, you see, I had no idea there was a blogging secret society and I had to follow a righteous path and learn the secret handshake and everything before I could join and be called a blogger.

And, yes, with your wonderful grasp of the language (clearly you won the Spelling Bee every single year) and you love of punctuation, you`ll make for a wonderful journalist of the future.

So, to put it into perspective for Mr. Anonymous (if you`re going to send my a nasty little rant, at least call yourself something interesting like Eugene, Adolf or Fidel or George), this is my opinion on blogging *and really, I`ve already expounded on this before in a previous post when a Mr. Vermeulen from Holland decided that I was a sad lonely little girl who should be kept far away from a mouse and a keyboard on account of my penchant for blogging about shit. I digress*

Dear Mr. Anonymous,

Let me get this off my chest first…The wonderful thing about blogging is that, firstly, you do not have to have a wonderful command of the language. You do not have to be a master at spelling, punctuation and grammar. In fact, anybody can blog and that`s the beauty of it. No rocket scientist`s here…just ordinary folk, saying how they feel.

However, Mr. Anon, when you`re a journalist of the future, one of the basics would be that people should be able to read your blog and that`s a fair bit of pressure on you to keep it grammar and spelling perfect unlike the rest of us, who sometimes really couldn`t give a rat`s arse. Also, Mr. Anon…the wonderful thing about blogging is that you (Mr. Anon) have an ability to voice whatever`s on your mind. Be it factual, be it biased, be it of sound mind you, Sir, have a right to shout your cares and views to the world.

Some bloggers believe they will replace journalists. Others believe that blogging is not journalism or is irresponsible journalism and thus all blogging is not journalism because it is not performed by journalists (stay with me here…). Mostly those that say it`s not journalism, dismisses it because it is not relevant and profound. Well, Mr. Anon…I based my Looking Glass Wars comment on the fact that *can blogging be called journalism and journalism be called blogging when both institutions labour under a little problem called, Factual Integrity. You see, Mr. Anon…Bloggers can have opinions, Columnists can have opinions and Journalists cannot have opinions. They are tasked with the most horrendous job of being both unbiased and factual and can you imagine how hard it must be to have the actual facts and not have a strong opinion on it. I say it`s chaotic and irresponsible because there are some journalists who sacrifice their journalistic integrity (I am SO going to get flayed for this) for so many reasons (politics, apathy, no job satisfaction, pure laziness take your pick). How then, is it less chaotic and irresponsible than a blogger ranting about a situation that is well…not factual, very biased and badly written. However, having said that…journalist have a responsibility to report news and give comment that is fair and factual. I am a blogger, Mr. Anon and I can be as irresponsible, chaotic and deurmekaar as I like. I can be rude, I can be explicit, I can make up news as I go along. So, Mr. Anon…what I am saying to you is that I really (really) don`t want to make a call on this. I am not saying that bloggers are the journalists of the future. Neither am I saying that bloggers will not be the journalists of the future. Because I JUST DON`T KNOW. And as you can see from the above I have clearly got two very different perspectives on the matter. However, three things are definite in my mind:

a) I maintain that blogging and journalism are two very different mediums and they are both as chaotic and irresponsible as the other.

b) Although I am secretly a traditionalist and mourn the idea of anybody with a pc and half a brain calling themselves a journalist, I am excited at the other possibility. The very second a story breaks it can be released world wide by a affable Joe Soap Blogger who just happened to walk on by.

c) I`ll be blogging for as long as I have a pc, half a brain and an opinion. And I won`t call it journalism.

Feel free to call it whatever you like, though. It`s a free country, after all.

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