An old friend from my campus journalism days has lately been asking me how to blog. But, he also announced, with a hint of journalistic pride, that blogging is not journalism.
Okay, okay. Fine.
While credibility is very important in journalism, it is just as important in blogging.
He argues that many bloggers hide under fictitious names and that there are no ethical guidelines in blogging, although he's quite interested in learning this new way of writing.
While there are a lot of stringent rules to follow in the journalism stylebook, there are a lot of rules to break in blogging.
A lover of argumentation and debate, I'd say blogging will suit him best, because while you can't argue with what the journalist wrote and expect an answer, you can definitely comment right after the blogger's post and most probably get an answer.
So far, my observation as a blogger is that, first, you don't report to an editor. Your blog, whatever its content, gets published right away, misspellings, wrong grammar, unreliable facts, reckless opinions, etc. You are your own proofreader, layout designer, photographer, in other words, you are a one-man-show in your own stage in cyberspace.
While there is less writing restraints in blogging, your freedom of expression still stops where you touch the tip of your neighbor's nose. Readers are empowered to flag objectionable content. This calls the attention of your blog host until your account gets deleted for being flagged several times. This is why online credibility still counts in blogging.
While in journalism a story is presented as news or opinion but not both, in blogging one can be both factual and opinionated, perhaps even more. There's room for creativity here. Just try not to be scatterbrained or you will lose audience appeal.
While journalists can be bloggers, not all bloggers can be journalists. Which is the same as saying journalism can be blogging, while blogging is not (always) journalism.