Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bloggers = journalists = PR and ad people

An article in the June 1, 2010 issue of The Uniter, Winnipeg's Weekly Urban Journal, allows a mainstream journalist to perpetuate a misconception about bloggers.

The article quotes Geoff Kirbyson, a Winnipeg Free Press reporter, criticizing bloggers as inferior to writers of his ilk.

“Journalists went to school and studied the craft. Bloggers are not trained,” he said. “They don’t do the work or attend events. They just comment on what they’ve read. If they started showing up at things and doing the work, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it. A lot of blogging is second-hand reporting.”

But bloggers actually are trained.

All Creative Communications students at Red River College are required to blog weekly. Instructors guide their efforts and grade them. Instructors blog, too.

CreComm instructors and students understand that being able to blog and to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter effectively are essential skills for our graduates, whether they specialize in advertising, journalism, media production or public relations. A recent survey of employers in our fields endorses this view.

And it's not just college instructors who are promoting blogging. Policy Frog on June 1, 2010 comments on Kirbyson's statement and argues persuasively for the validity of blogging as a journalistic tool.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Whoa, talk about generalizing! He should try looking a little closer to home: there are a ton of blogs listed on the FreeP website that aren't just "second-hand reporting", both from their own journalists (Mike McIntyre, Melissa Martin, Mary Agnes Welch) and others (Neil Babaluk, for one!)

    What was he thinking?

  3. Yes, that was a very unfortunate thing for Kirbyson to say. He shouldn't have generalized - there are definitely many bloggers who don't have any journalistic training, or perhaps even a high school diploma, but there are many others who do.

    Maybe he should see blogging as a positive instead of whining about it. It encourages some people who may not normally write to actually write down their thoughts, feelings, etc.

  4. In fairness, I was quoted out of context in the story. And, I said many complimentary things about local bloggers, but those comments were not included in the story.