Why aren’t you a blogging journalist?

I should be the last person to wag a finger at others to exhort them to start blogging, given my delayed, and sporadic experience with that activity. But if you’re a displaced journalist and haven’t at least started planning a blog, then the following testimonials from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 ought to push you in that direction:

“The word blog is irrelevant, what’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.” — Web marketing guru Seth Godin

For journalists new to or a bit leery of the practice of blogging, former San Jose Mercury News technology writer Dan Gillmor, one of the leading figures of the emerging entrepreneurial journalism field, offers these thoughts that should ease concerns:

“From a journalistic perspective: Blogging and other conversational media are entering a new phase when it comes to community information needs — they’re growing up. Traditional media are using these tools to do better journalism, and are beginning to engage their audiences in the journalism. Entrepreneurial journalists are finding profitable niches. . . .  The best blogs are as trustworthy as any traditional media, if not more. The worst, often offering fact-challenged commentary, are reprehensible and irresponsible. But audiences are learning, perhaps too slowly, that modern media require a more activist approach. We need to be skeptical of everything, but not equally skeptical of everything. We need to use judgment, to get more information — and to go outside our personal comfort zones.”

This blog is a daily slog right now, as I grasp to stay on topic and provide useful information for journalists like myself who are reinventing their careers. If you’re not blogging now, the Technorati series — which will include four more comprehensive installments — is an absolute must-read.

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