Journalists As Bloggers, Writers As Bloggers
A few weeks back, an article by www.abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak reporter Carmela Fonbuena "Journalists urged to blog, set examples online" (Journalists urged to blog, set examples online) caused an upheaval of sorts in the Pinoy blogosphere. The perceived fault line and source of all the hubbub was the comment of UP professor Luis Teodoro who encouraged "journalists to consciously go into blogging to set examples."
"Many of those who post information online are irresponsible," Teodoro was quoted as saying. "Sometimes, it becomes damaging. It disrupts the democratic dialogue."
Finally, he also proposed that there should be self-regulation in blogs. "Journalists should be models online," he said. Be it a blog on political opinion or personal lifestyle, "the principles of journalism should apply."
Days after the story came out, one blogger (Talk About Kettles Calling the Pots Black) virtually pilloried Teodoro by calling him a CPP-NPA front man and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility leftist. Another blogger (Confessions of a "New Media" Heretic (or, the jester-in-exile throws yet another gauntlet before the MSM "priest caste")) asked Teodoro to "get off your high horse and tell your peers to clean up your stables before you come online and tell us how to live our lives." And finally, one blog (Challenge of the blogs) castigates the professor "for not finding anything good to say about blogs except that they pose a challenge to mainstream media."
Sometime late into 2007, The Spy In The Sandwich wrote about Literary Blogging, and how keeping a blog helps writers (mostly younger ones) keep the words flowing. There is a bit of that "old media" vs. "new media" here too. A quote:
"Can blogging be rightfully considered an effective tool in creative writing? If so, how or why? I ask this question because a prominent writer, an icon in local literary circles who will remain nameless, once suggested to me that I should not waste my time blogging, because blogging he says only takes away from the few hours we have for ourselves for what he calls “real” writing. I suppose he has good reasons to be concerned about blogging becoming a literary vampire of sort—but it soon occurred to me that the suggestion he posed smacked of one accusation: blogging as a worthless exercise in literary considerations, a “waste of time” basically, something that cannot be considered real writing at all. And so I threw the question into the air, by text-messaging some of the writers I knew who kept blogs, hoping that they had a sense of knowing why they blog in the first place, and how it keeps them in tune with the fact of being active writers."
The common thread here is that for some, blogging is not considered beneficial to "real" writing, be it creative or journalistic. The opposite opinion holds true for others. Thus, the conflict.
I think that there are creative writers--fictionists and non-fictionists--among PGS blog readers. I believe that there are students too among the readers (and not necessarily enrolled in writing courses either). There may be a few journalists. I know that there are a few teachers. May I ask you to share your opinions on this? Is blogging a boon or bane to writing, whether it be for academic, personal, or professional reasons?
It wouldn't be fair for me to ask for your opinions without sharing my own. The Spy In The Sandwich texted me for what I thought about blogging before writing his essay, and he couldn't use what I said because, I have to admit, I told him that blogging neither helps nor hinders what I write during my private time. I think this is because I'm pretty new to blogging, having started in late 2006, and only started posting regularly and in earnest sometime in the middle of 2007. So perhaps the more experienced of you can share your thoughts. I'm aware, though, that by posting this online, most of the responses will be in the positive, since responders will also be bloggers. So I'm asking also that those of you who do know the opinions and reasons of those who find blogging unhelpful to writing, to please do share them here too. It would be interesting to find out, and might also make for an entertaining, and educational, discussion. Thank you, folks!