Web blogging has evolved over the years, what started out as an online diary for most has become a popular tool for people across the world. Blogs have provided Internet users with fast, cheap information. But are bloggers journalists? According to a study done by PRWeek/PRnewswire in April 2010, 52 percent of bloggers consider themselves journalists. This is quite the increase from 2009 when only one third of bloggers considered themselves journalists.
Perez Hilton who refers to himself as the “The Queen of the Media” is one of the leading celebrity gossip bloggers. When asked in an interview if he thinks of himself as a journalist, he responds with, “I am a journalist, and an entertainer.” Hilton holds himself to journalistic standards, therefore maintaining the title of a “journalist.” Hilton says that he would never make up a story to get more hits. Does simply living up to journalistic standards make you a journalist?
A New Jersey court does not think so. A New Jersey ruling rules that a blogger must be connected to news media in order to be considered a journalist and have rights under the Shield Law, according to an article in PRWeek. The Shield Law protects journalists from having to reveal their sources.
However, despite the fact that a blogger may have to be connected to news media in order to actually be considered a journalist, blogging is becoming more and more popular in obtaining news. Blogging is just another medium that people can use to connect to their readers, and communicate news.
What do you think? Is society ready for consistent bloggers to become journalists? What makes a blogger a journalist? What prerequisites should be required to become a journalist?