Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Is Journalism Gonzo?

Our continued discomfort to how the Web shifts our mindset when it comes to media simply amazes me. While music and videos have been at the forefront at the debate for a number of years, the recent news that the Huffington Post has gone and gotten itself some big funding to hire some real journalists has gotten some people talking.

On this article Are Blogs the New Newspapers, Cynthia Brumfield says that the move to:

"hire "real” journalists only further blurs the boundaries between newspapers and blogs"

and that it:

"raises an interesting question about the difference between blogs staffed by top-notch journalists and newspapers staffed by top-notch journalists. The question is: what’s the distinction between those two?"

She then goes on to quote Mark Evans who left the National Post to join B5 media a blogging network about the changing fast paced world a blogger lives in vs. the old traditional newspaper reporter.

The strange thing is, when I read Mark's description of the blogger, it strikes me that other than the actual quantity of postings, the world of the blogger journalist seems to sound a lot like that of the Gonzo journalist.

I mean isn't Hunter S. Thompson the world's perfect blogger (other than the fact that he's dead)?

- He mixed fact and fiction
- He was part of the story
- He didn't believe he had to be objective (as he said, how could one be objective about Nixon?)
- He was sarcastic bordering on caustic (I think a mainstay of bloggerdome)
- And the movement he created was actually part of what was called the "New Journalism" movement of the 1960s (how perfect is that?)

I think we just need to stop all the comparisons and get back to the real debate which should be about accepting that Journalism online is ‘Gonzo’ and figure out a new name for it….

Blongzo anyone?


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