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Technology Blog, by: David Monaghan.

Columnist or Reporter?

Posted by David on May 21, 2006

My journalism background. I walked backwards into writing, one day I decided to start up a website and later a blog. Now I've got a history of many various blogs, none of which have really taken off but I never started writing to be popular. You could say that blogging became an addiction for me. Once I realized that not only do I like writing but that some people might actually enjoy reading it I began analyzing my writing and what I do on my blogs so that I could be more effective.

Columnist or reporter? This is probably entirely obvious to people with a background in journalism but as I explained I have very little and I just started to ask myself, "Am I a columnist or a reporter?" Hopefully even the highest level professional journalists will agree that the difference between these two types of journalists are a bit difficult to distinguish from one another especially to the untrained (not to mention the rapidly changing technologies). From what I can tell the major differences between a columnist and a reporter are; First the motivation behind the content and second the process of acquiring and presenting the information. A columnist is the driving force behind their content and isn't expected to follow the same process of acquiring information from official or creditable sources in an unbiased way, while a reporter is expected to acquire their information from sources they can cite and is usually motivated by something like popular demand (mass media) and the search for unbiased information. Now the lines are blurry here according to some, blogs are being considered a sort of mix between these two styles of journalism and it seems that many of the people contributing content to blogs are completely unaware of this looming question.

So what am I? That't the question I've been asking myself, "Am I a columnist or a reporter?" I think the answer is obvious and I consider myself at this moment to be a columnist (at least on this blog) but now I'm starting to research what I would have to change to be considered a reporter. In any case I enjoy writing for the public and it's enhanced my writing skills (one of the real reasons I started writing material to publish). Recently I've wondered a lot how journalism might be changed by blogging and how journalism as a whole will end up in the next five, ten, twenty, etc. years. It's very interesting to me, everything that has to do with communication is under rapid evolution at an always accelerating pace. Anyway thanks for listening to my short ramblings on this, uh, column? Okay yeah, hope everyone had a good Sunday and I'll talk to you soon.

Post Scriptum. I've been thinking about the possibility of publishing in audio form, if I have something to publish but I don't really feel like writing at the time, or if I can get some friends together to talk about technology, I may even think of some other reason(s) but I'd be happy to hear what anyone thinks about such a publication here. I know one advantage to the readers or listeners in this case would be the ability to obtain the information I'm publishing while doing something which requires the use of their eyes or hands. I should also mention that obtaining information for the blind would probably be much smoother in such a format rather than through the use of a speech synthesis application. Anyway, lemme know if you have an opinion, as usual you can contact me at monaghan.david@gmail.com and don't forget that you can leave a comment for others to see. I'd also be interested in starting up a podcast with someone else, if you've got broadband and Skype we're half way there, I'm a hobbyist producer using FL Studio and Audacity and I know may way around enough of the technology to find anything we need. Don't forget to tune in later for a link to a cooking blog and podcast I'm going to start up with my good friend Scott and my Mom Jaimie (two excellent self-taught chefs) which I'll be producing, editing and writing for.

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