Why blogging is more interesting than reporting

25 March 2008

The jury is still out on blogging—and if left to the mainstream media, it will remain out for ever.

Is it good, is it journalism, does it have the “institutional” checks and balances, do bloggers go out and report a story… questions like these have been hurled for very nearly a decade without hurting anybody.

Now, Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark throws light on a Nieman narrative conference where reporter and Nieman fellow Josh Benton threw up an interesting theory on why blogging has come to be so interesting.

“Eyewitness reporting rendered in real time via the blog represents an interesting and worthy kissing cousin to long-form narrative journalism… in contradistinction to the kind of processed news reporting that still vanillas-up the typical newspaper.”

At its most basic, blogging represents natural reporting. It comes right after an event or an experience, when the story is hot. Through the authentic voice of the writer, it helps the reader catch the spark of the subject.

In a sense, blogging is like a conversation between friends: Fresh, unformed, unfiltered, as-is, not entirely accurate always, but fun, something that captures your attention.

Conventional reporting, on the other hand, takes more time, “neuters the point of view, neutralizes the language, and jams facts into standard suitcases.” But as more time passes, an investigative or feature writer recognizes the unrealized narrative potential of the story. Once again, “interestingness” becomes high.

Read the full piece: From blog to narrative

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