So I was reading Village Green/Town Squared this evening, where the author of that esteemed blog wrote about blogging and its relationship with journalism.
Now perhaps "Christine" from the comments section was playing a bit fast and loose with the lingo. Maybe if she added the word "citizen" before "journalist" she(?) might have hit a bit closer to the mark. Just a bissel.
That said, I don't read http://53beersontap.typepad.com/ for straight-up reporting. I peruse it for the blend of fact, analysis, and opinion. I would imagine that most of his readership understands the nature and purpose of that blog. I might be overestimating the level of media literacy at work among some consumers, I don't know.
I was sitting next to a current Board of Education member at a local event recently. We were chatting, pleasantly enough, about local media content creators. The reality is, in this era of sharply reduced traditional media resources, bloggers play a more important role when it comes to being chroniclers of our time and place. This is particularly the case in HoCo, a county-sized 'burb sandwiched between Baltimore and DC, belonging more to the former than the latter within the greater media market, yet still under-reported upon. Despite knowing a great deal about The 53, I don't know how much time and attention this individual gives to thinking about blogging as a means of sharing news and information.
Yes, many bloggers do not undergo any formal training as journalists. Moreover, I doubt that any of us in Howard County signed a pledge to abide by the SPJ Code of Ethics. That said, I believe, whether intentional or not, most of us follow the general principles found within that Code.
It might be helpful for the citizenry in general, and elected officials in particular, to think about the role of blogging within our communities. Rather than post defensive-sounding remarks in comments sections, perhaps there are other ways to engage with those of us who practice some variant of citizen journalism. We aren't going away any time soon.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.