Bloggers, Journalists, and Parasites

Brett Tabke started an interesting thread over at WebmasterWorld with the choice title: Are Blogs a parasitic medium? The conversation ranges from those who think the answer to the question is yes, and those who think it must be a sick joke that tradtional journalists would apply such a label to anyone but themselves.

Gardener sums it up as follows:

I used to be a “traditional” journalist. Some news reporters do serious investigations and break new ground. However, those reporters are few and far between.

The push these days is to turn out as much as possible. There’s not a whole of investigating that can go on if you’re doing a story every day or so. If you’re not getting your story from a press release, or a news conference or the police radio, where do the ideas for these instant stories come from?

Why, other media of course. A reporter will read a story, make one phone call, confirm the story, and suddenly it’s theirs to report for free. The original source gets no credit.

The fact that journalists are calling bloggers parasites is laughable.

My take on it is that there are definitely parasitic bloggers out there. It’s much the same as that stupid debate about SEOs being slime sucking bottom dwellers (well, it was something to that affect). I stayed out of that one because getting into that conversation reminded me of the old question: “When did you stop beating your wife?”. There is no win in such a discussion.

The point is that there are good SEOs and bad SEOs. And there are good bloggers and bad bloggers, and all sorts in between. Oh, yes, there are good journalists and bad journalists too. There are bad apples in every bunch everwhere you go. What distinguishes you from the pack is a combination of your ethics and your value add.

Good bloggers always provide full attribution to their source, and then do more than repeat the content. The blogoshpere is at its best when it’s a conversation. Bloggers interacting with one another, each adding value at each step of the process.

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