Free compare and contrast essay on the topic The Blogger vs The Online Journalist

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 The Blogger vs The Online Journalist

In the 21st century, the state of publishing the news has both evolved and is continuing to evolve. The world where the journalist – the reporter, the correspondent, the newshound – only writes for traditional print publications (newspapers, magazines, and even newsletters) is long gone and certainly obsolete. Today, rather, we see news articles published on websites and in print publications.

And with this transition comes a transformation in the journalist’s roles, titles, duties and publishing domains. There is a print journalist, either a reporter or columnist, of course, whose articles and editorials may appear on websites after they’re published in print; and then there is an online journalist, who may also be a reporter or columnist, who writes solely for a website (such as cnn.com). And on top of this seemingly confusing and changing dynamic is the relatively new advent (seen in the last 10 to 15 years or so, at least) of the blogger, who writes, well, blogs – which appear on websites, such as huffingtonpost.com and on personal websites. It involves an individual recording their opinions and disseminating information, photographs and links to other websites on a regular, daily or weekly, basis.

It’s an understandable observation that the online journalist and the blogger, on first look, appear to be doing pretty much the same thing, the only difference between them is their job titles. Both are, in essence, writers whose articles and stories appear on websites, and their words, sentences, and thoughts are read online – but do a blogger and an online journalist really do the same thing? The answer is no – and yes – kind of. Sort of. Well, not really.

Let’s look, first of all, at how these two jobs compare. Both do involve writing, as well as writing for some kind of website (similarity 1). These two jobs are indeed performed by skilled, professional writers – at least we hope so – writers who are well versed on a certain subject, beat, topic, or even range of topics. Readers read their work on websites, and both the online journalist and the blogger are most likely knowledgeable of the inner-workings and relevance of digital media, SEO (search-engine optimization), how the Internet works, and both should possess an extensive understanding of the shift toward a mobile network and its ever-growing applications in a consumer society. Both kinds of writers are generally paid for their work, as well, but this is not necessarily always the case.

However, on many other levels, the two jobs are completely different. In fact, they’re entirely different. The online journalist doesn’t write on whatever topic or subject they wish (as does the blogger, in most cases); instead the online journalist is assigned a beat, they have to interview people and dig up facts on a daily basis, then use the information gained from those interviews and research to cook up relevant and topical stories to keep readers informed on relevant issues (difference 1).

Bloggers, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily journalists. Most are, in fact, far from ever being considered professional journalists. They don’t work leads to stories. Instead of finding legitimate sources (journalists, however, need sources to incorporate objectivity in their stories), and rather than writing journalistic, objective, news-oriented copy – often on current and controversial, informative topics, like gun control, crime and politics – the blogger, depending on the organization they’re writing for, usually writes on just about anything that is buzzing on the Internet (difference 2).

A blogger could be writing as a hobby on their own website, and a blogger could be writing as a promotional tool for a product that is out, like a newly published book, a service, etc. And a blogger usually only writes opinion-based pieces for a particular website, similar to what a columnist would write for a newspaper. A blogger’s writing could be hearsay, and most of the time the blogger is not a journalist trained to write articles void of their own, personal opinions, and their work usually includes much of their own influence or comments, which is, in a sense, similar to an online columnist; the blogger writes what is generally self-serving for themselves or for the company or organization they write and work for. Also, an online journalist is usually a salaried position, with a daily or weekly quota of stories to be produced; whereas the blogger is generally compensated for each blog they write.

In conclusion, the blogger, and the online journalist, to the everyday reader, seem like one in the same. But, in actuality, they are completely different jobs with completely different roles, responsibilities and career experiences. It is true that the online journalist may write blogs in addition to their own reported stories – and then for some media companies, they may even be required to write a blog. The blogger could even be a print reporter looking to get more work; also, a blogger may be doing freelance journalism on the side. In any case, the reader should, most importantly, be cognitive of who and what they are reading (conclusion).

Not everything on the Internet is factual, objective, and journalistic – and, therefore, not everything read on the Internet should be considered true and legitimate and fair.

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