I’ve been a blogger for 15 years. I wrote my own job description and I’ve stuck to, what I think to be, the best rules of ethics therein. I slip up now and again, I fuck up way too often, and one could refer to me as a loser in all ways but I don’t call myself a journalist and I never have. But because I provide content and analysis on my site journalists have always held me to their standard, I’ve noticed. Which is fine except that I am not one. To that end, I’m not a film critic either. I think of myself more in the business of film advocacy than criticism. I could never do that job either.
Journalists are always trying to reveal ways in which bloggers or twitterers or self-made critics are less valuable than they are. And I totally agree with that. God help us if journalists, real journalists, go away.
I happened upon a story the other day about “inside sources” in the Obama administration already deciding to bring federal charges against George Zimmerman. All the way down at the bottom it said “Citizen Journalism.” The story wasn’t true, of course. How do you tell the difference anymore? It’s difficult. Does that then mean all bloggers must be held to journalist standards? How would anyone go about policing that? It is going to be sticky business going forward.
I hope that journalists, in all of their cut-throat glory, are here to stay and that we don’t lose them to have them replaced by people like me. I never wanted that title. I am happy as a blogger. Not a journalist, not a critic. NOT.