For some of you, every morning after you wake up and are done with what you need to do to feel fresh, reading a newspaper is inevitable. The advent of news channels and news websites does not take away the satisfaction of reading news in print.
Some people don’t believe a piece of news (even if it runs on channels the whole day) unless they see it in print.
Blogs, though relatively new and with seemingly similar content to that of a newspaper, carry writing styles that are very different from the ones seen in newspapers.
Journalism Vs Blogging: Showdown
Open any newspaper. You’ll never find a report that begins the way this post does (or all posts in any blog, for that matter).
Journalists are very formal in their writing. Blogs, on the other hand, carry content written in a very conversational tone. While reading a blog, you feel as if the writer is actually sitting in front of you and talking to you.
You do understand what I am saying, don’t you?
In a newspaper, you will not typically find a reporter using casual language. That is a strict no-no. Newspaper is serious stuff.
Well, so are blogs. However, bloggers believe that irrespective of the language they use, serious stuff will be serious. That does not mean that they’ll crack jokes or use humor while writing serious stuff. But, they will address YOU.
Consider this – a well-known actress and a married director were seen coming out of a hotel in a disheveled state.
This is news that gives rise to the purest form of gossip – one that gossipers don’t ask to be kept secret!
A newspaper will just report the story, with all the facts – the name of the hotel, the name of the manager of the hotel, the personal history of the actress, the state of the director’s marriage, the number of the room they stayed in, the name of the bus-boy who served them – everything.
But you can trust a blogger to turn this into a piece that will have you all guffawing upon reading. A blog’s purpose is to entertain while informing. A newspaper’s is to inform – and only inform.
4: Length (or breadth)
Ever seen a newspaper article that runs for more than 500 words? You might have, but they are rare. This is how it works – if it is not a special story (they are the ones that carry the reporter’s name and are always the brainchild of that reporter), then it is an assigned story. Assigned stories are events that are covered by every newspaper, thereby making it non-exclusive. In most cases, newspapers are told of events a few days prior. The bureau chief, or the assistant news editor, or the beat editor assigns reporters to cover that event.
The conversation goes something like this:
Editor: Listen, there is this event tomorrow. You got to cover it.
Reporter: Ok. Dated or not?
Editor: I want a 300 word report on it. Not a word more.
The reporter goes, covers, and files a 300-word story that gets edited (at least thrice) and comes as a 200-odd worded piece.
A blogger, on the other hand, can write a 4,583-word blog post and no one will say a word (pun intended).
A blogger can write about anything that suits his fancy. His next-door neighbor’s new dog, his wife’s/girlfriend’s new hairdo, the Greek economy, the strength of the US dollar – just about anything.
When a reporter wants to do a special story for a newspaper, he has to ensure that it has some news peg.
For example, if he wants to do an in-depth story about the increase in wife-swapping cases and how it is affecting the society, he can do it if some such instance comes into light. One reporter did such a story way back in 2010 when a new show about swapping mothers was to be televised.
Ever seen some information in a newspaper that does not say where the information was received from?
Reporters, while stating facts and information, HAVE to credit the source. Like, police inspector so-and-so, with the so-and-so police station, said so-and-so. If they have gotten information from some report, they need to name the report.
Blog writing, on the other hand, does not require any such source. Most bloggers tend to link to the source while some don’t reveal where they got the information from. Either way, blog writing does not require presenting the source (citing source increases credibility of the post though).
Over to You:
Are there any more differences you can think of? What style of writing do you prefer? Let me know via comments.