Are You A Journalist or a Blogger?

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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

1: Tone

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?

2: Language

 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.

3: Purpose

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: Dated

Reporter: OK

Editor: I want a 300 word report on it. Not a word more.

Reporter: OK

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).

5: Topic

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.

6: Source

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.

 

Comments

  1. Blogging is more about your views and Expereince. But these days people just write without the experience and detailed knowledge of subject.
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  2. I think in this case, in fact with *all* journalism, it’s a case of “reader beware”. Objectivity is a myth, no one writes anything with a truly objective view. They might come close, but whether consciously or even subconsciously, unknowing and fiercely defensive if pointed out, their experience and their opinions will influence what they put down
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    • I agree – you really have to check multiple sources, and look at the source – the motive, agenda, etc. I think journalism has changed a lot on the last few decades.

  3. I assume you haven’t read much third world media! I often see complete lies spun in the media here in the Philippines and its only because I have a broader access to media that I am aware of the truth. But I also believe blogging is often a lot more “friendly” and “fluffy” compared to the raw media. Which is a good thing, its also often selective compared to mass media that is grabbing what they want to feed to people where a blog is often someone’s interpretation and interests.
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  4. It was really impressive published article. I do personally learn in the post and also I will share it to my friends later after reviewing. Really interesting post indeed. Thanks.

  5. I have already written almost every niche for my blog site, but one area that less inspires me to write about is business. I think the main reason behind is the fact that I’m not into this field of specification. But there are times I need to write on this niche due to market demand. Thanks for inspiring me then with this post.
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  6. Very Nice article. Though these are basic things that everyone is supposed to know and follow but its these that we so often miss or neglect and that’s what, i suppose, differentiates a good blogger from a great one! Thank you for this lovely piece of information.

  7. A journalist always does job but a blogger does business through its blog. Both need specialization in their jobs but a blogger always lived less restricted life and less restriction to write.

  8. Nice post. I think there can be made a distinction between writing a blogging and journalism. However i have seen bloggers using more formal language and journalists using more casual language.
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  9. our blog was absolutely fantastic! Great deal of great information and this can be useful some or maybe the other way. Keep updating your blog, anticipating to get more detailed contents

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  10. Hello Adarsh
    Good Day!

    The thing being a blogger is such a fulfilling job for me. because you can be able to write whatever you want, but for a purpose also.. it is important to put the right name, date, title, just everything in order for the people to know about you how to contact you.

  11. Short and yet informative post on the difference between journalistic writing and blogging. Hope to hear your thoughts on mobile content delivery next.

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