Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Journalists As Bloggers, Writers As Bloggers

David Dizon writes about what he terms an "upheaval of sorts" in the Pinoy blogosphere: Journalists As Bloggers. It's about the "old media" vs. "the new media", traditional journalists versus bloggers. A quote:

A few weeks back, an article by 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!


Anonymous EK said...

How come nobody has replied to this yet?

Admittedly I blog because it's stress release, and it's to remind myself that I'm not alone liking the stuff I like. (It's next to impossible to find someone to talk to about redheads with confused childhoods and teenage evil geniuses who lead criminal empires and cute guys who exist only in 2D. ^^;) Is blogging a waste of my time? Probably, but I won't give it up because of the stress release, so to me it's important. ^^ But enough about me.

Blogging is the online equivalent of standing on a wooden box and speaking your heart out. So it depends on who you are and what you write, really, if the blogging will carry any weight. Professional journalists are right to watch what they blog, because people are bound to take in what they write as important.

Is blogging helpful to writing? To a degree, yes, but not for professional-level writing, not yet (unless you're in China and trying to run an anti-establishment, nearly-professional newsblog). It does take effort to formulate your thoughts for the world to see, after all. But because no one but you will check it, and because initially you are answerable to no one, there are so many ways it can unreliable.

I'm done ranting. ^^v

EK 8 )

10:46 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi, EK! Thanks for your comments. You're the first person I've read who blogs for stress-release, though I admit I don't read that many blogs, so there are probably more like you out there. I'm glad it works for you that way.

My sister-in-law goes shopping for her stress release, which makes my usually calm and collected brother quite tense. Maybe I should suggest blogging for his stress. It might work for him the way it works for you. I can imagine his first entry: "She's out shopping again! With my credit card!"

Just kidding. :D

Please check out There are more comments there. TY!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous EK said...

Hehe. As you've probably seen, I don't usually talk much with other people unless I'm really comfortable, so most of the chatting that gets pent up, and all of the stuff that immediate relatives won't understand get blogged instead. Hence, stress release.

EK 8 )

10:49 PM  
Blogger stuart-santiago said...

blogging is a great writing exercise. when i was just starting to write, and i'd agonize over every word, phrase, sentence, my mentor advised me to just keep writing, write as an exercise, and really it works, as i've blogged in my post "blogwise". but to write good you also have to read a lot, read read read, and you also have to have something to say, so become an expert in something, and read the papers, keep abreast of current events... so it's not just blogging that helps make a good writer.

2:14 PM  

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