About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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November 06, 2004

Journalists, Publishers and Blogging

Posted by Ernest Miller

Another report from Bloggercon. I'm in the "journalism" panel moderated by Scott Rosenberg. Once again, the discussion devolves into a debate about whether or what sort of journalists bloggers are. This discussion frustrates and saddens me. I would think that, by now, we would have realized the journalism is a particular set of practices. Publishing is another set of practices. The two are obviously related, but they are orthogonal.

Journalism should be judges on its practice, not on where it was published. We've too often thought the press and the means of publication are tied together. They're not.

Would we talk about people who run printing presses as to whether or not they are journalists? Of course not. That doesn't make any sense. Same thing with blogs. Someone with a printing press is a newspaper because they practice journalism, not because they own a press.

So, let's talk about the practice of journalism and not worry about the publishing medium (remembering that each media has particular conventions).

On a related note, Jay Rosen, points out that blogs denaturalizes journalism and forces us to reassess our assumptions about what journalism is and how it is done. Absolutely! Let's have that discussion.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging and Journalism


1. Seth Finkelstein on November 8, 2004 04:21 AM writes...

You might enjoy my essay:

Blogging, Democratic Convention, "Pamphleteers", and Reaction

The thing to understand about the "journalism" debate is that some of the words used are really terms of art. It took me a while of reading Jay Rosen's blog to grasp this.

It's not about a set of practices, though that's close. Rather, it's about being a *guild* *member*. They're debating the social requirements for tribal membership.

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