PR Campaigns – The blog

September 18, 2008

Bloggers…are they considered media?

Filed under: CAST Communication — mekelly1 @ 7:33 pm

Since our class is diving into the blog world, many of us for the first time, I thought this article provides an interesting view on whether or not PR professionals consider bloggers legitimate sources of information and how to treat them if so. According to the Paul Gillin, “Most bloggers know more about a topic than reporters, who switch beats all the time. Reporters are resourceful; bloggers are knowledgeable.” According to PR-Squared, bloggers are media, they just have a different agenda.

Bloggers do not have a publisher to report to like journalists, and they tend to be more passionate about what they write about. While there are many bloggers that only publish simply because they like the idea of being able to self-publish, there are many bloggers that are considered specialists in the areas they discuss. Well-known bloggers also have a very strong following of readers and their views and insight are just as influential as reporters’.

So what privileges should bloggers get? Should they be given press badges like journalists?

In my opinion, bloggers deserve many, if not all, of the benefits journalists receive. Bloggers are becoming a trusted source of information for many people. At this point, they receive many of their facts from news articles, so why not allow them to become the gatherers of information as well? PR professionals should utilize bloggers’ expertise and promotional influence. They are allowed to show their passion and creativity in their writing, which only creates more interest in the industry and events they are blogging about.

Written on behalf of Cast Communications

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8 Comments »

  1. I find myself at a crossroads about this issue. When I went on this Journalism Exchange to Australia last summer, the topic of blogs came up. We discussed almost ad nauseum if they should be considered credible–the consensus seemed to be that they were not, because there was no way to monitor, there were no “rules” so to speak. But now that we have started to dive into the blogosphere, I am beginning to see that there is almost this unwritten code of conduct that we all must follow.

    I do not know if bloggers should be given FULL press rights, but I can definitely see the growing trend and usefulness of blogs and the impact they have on getting out information.

    Comment by wackyzachy47 — September 19, 2008 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  2. I am definitely on the fence about this issue. While I feel that bloggers do have many journalistic characteristics and often serve as a better source of information than news articles, not all blogs can be trusted because, like all things on the internet, anyone can be a blogger, regardless of expertise or knowledge. I don’t think that bloggers should get the same press privledges as journalists simply because it is not their credited profession and also, once bloggers are allowed in, it opens the doors to all sorts of uncertainties. I do feel that in general bloggers add an element to journalism that is much-needed. Since journalists often have to report on a topic of which they are not aware, it can be hard for them to provide good information whereas a blog is much more likely to contain better information due to a blogger’s expertise and passion about a topic.

    Comment by cate415 — September 19, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  3. I believe legitimate bloggers are definitely media. By legitimate, I mean those with expertise, knowledge and somewhat of a following. I true blogger can’t just be anyone from MySpace or blog.com. There should be some credentials bloggers must meet to be considered media. Although I think it would be difficult to distinguish between credited blogs and other blogs in cyberspace. I can understand why there would be hesitation to grant them press badges right off the bat because there are so many untrustworthy blogs that can be found on the internet. Anyone can have them. But, as for genuine and successful bloggers, I believe they deserve to be treated like journalists. They often cover stories and are very influential to their readers. And unlike reporters who are at the mercy of the publication, bloggers can be edgier and make their own decisions. Even presidential hopefuls have been known to hire bloggers, which is certainly effective campaign strategy. Bloggers are very good at writing about a specialized topic for a particular audience.

    Comment by marialinda17 — September 21, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  4. I do not think that bloggers should receive any of the privileges that journalists reveive. While some bloggers are experts in the area they are discussing, I think others lack credibility. There is no blogger code of ethics that every blogger follows. I see blogging as a way to express an opinion. I do not see it as a way to state facts. They are more like commentators than hard news journalists. Until bloggers gain some regulation and a way to monitor what they write then I do not think they should be treated as journalists. I think this actually may be better for the world of blogging if it stays the way it is because if blogging becomes regulated then I think it will loose its unique role in the media. They would become just another news site.

    Comment by erikanp2004 — September 22, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  5. I am somewhat split on this issue. I think that bloggers provide as a valuable source of information for the public. I also think that anyone and everyone could potentially be a blogger. That is the problem right there; How credible can bloggers really be? Since most of them don’t have anyone to report to, such as an editor, they are free to say whatever they want. The truth can often be blurred within a blog, and mainly blogs consist of purely opinion. Doesn’t that somewhat defeat the purpose of media? One of my teachers once told me that the lofty ideal of journalism is the communication of truth to the public. As journalists i think that the truth is one of the things we should be the most loyal to. Considering this I do not think that bloggers should receive all the same benefits and privileges as actual journalists.

    Comment by knish21087 — September 22, 2008 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  6. I feel that bloggers get a bad rap, most of the time. While I do not put blogging in the same category as in-depth, investigative reporting, for example, I do think bloggers deserve some of the same press credentials as journalists. Bloggers should be approached y PR professionals with the same courtesy and professionalism as journalists and other media outlets do. While I disagree that bloggers are “more passionate” about what their writing than journalists (only because I feel the majority of journalists are very passionate), they do tend to offer a more biased perspective on topics which can create a sort of “false news” impression.

    It may be hard to accept at times, but blogging is taking over. It is such a large part of the growing online media craze that is slowly but surely dominating how we receive our news, so in turn they should be placed somewhere in the same spectrum as other media outlets.

    Comment by letsgoblogging — September 22, 2008 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  7. I don’t agree that bloggers should be given the same privileges as journalists. Most journalists go through formal education to obtain their credentials, while bloggers only need to have an active email address to write. Also, many blogs are based upon commenting on articles that have already been written by journalists. Bloggers usually have a more loyal following of readers, and in turn can use that power to push readers towards the “real” stories, or at least the stories that portray their version of the truth. In this sense, journalists and bloggers can work together, but one really shouldn’t take the word of a blogger over the word of a journalist. Although there are many bloggers with credentials within specific industries, who have expertise on many matters, they have no real reason to tell the truth or to give an unbiased take on a subject, so who’s to say they’re giving real news?

    Comment by kakeane — September 23, 2008 @ 9:58 am | Reply

  8. There seems to be a consensus that blogging should not be considered journalism because of a lack of monitoring. But what about bloggers for publications, like the News York Times or Washington Post bloggers? They are more closely monitored, their facts are checked, but they are still expressing opinion. I guess it is the same as an opinion column writer to me, which is considered a journalist. There are right and wrong, professional and unprofessional blogs, but I think we should be more welcoming to the ones that do it right.

    Comment by agilliam — September 25, 2008 @ 10:08 am | Reply


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