Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Merger of "journalism" and "blogging"

The surge of online media reenergized the old fundamental debate about what “journalism” is or should be, who a “journalist” is or should be, and whether journalism should move back to being a trade or move closer to becoming a profession. These questions have a direct impact on First Amendment protections of press, government regulatory policy towards journalism, issues of access, credibility, and scores of other issues. Today, anyone in America can practice journalism, without having to get a journalism degree, without having to pass any examination, without having to become a member of any association, without having to abide by any professional ethics code, and without having to pay any fee.

After bloggers being awarded coveted media credentials at 2004 political conventions, after allowing more online journalists to be eligible to win a Pulitzer (see related post here), after witnessing a well-documented trend of msm journalists to engage in news-blogging, here comes another fundamental milestone on the way to a merger between blogging and journalism: The recent court ruling held that Apple Computer Inc. could not subpoena information to find out how the blogger, Jason O'Grady of O'Grady's Power Page, received material about the company. The company said O'Grady was posting trade secrets that were stolen from the company. The court ruled that the shield law ‘is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here.’”

The journalism history is unfolding before our very eyes… And it looks like that the merger between journalism and blogging is inevitable.