eSophie: A Blog Experiment

My name is Sophie and I research everything.

Journalism: From Fourth to Fifth Estate

with 2 comments

Despite what has been said about the death of journalism, (excuse me, the death of “real” journalism) I say journalism is still alive and definitely evolving. Sure, there are amateur bloggers (like myself, of course) and then there are real journalists who went to school for journalism –those who know all about the fourth estate, a word I have never heard of until this week when I stumbled upon Jeff Hutson‘s blog.

Journalism, or the Fourth Estate, is the medium between the corporate world with its shiny executives and the less fancy businesses with their average Joe customers. It is not my area of expertise but I think I can understand how important the Fourth Estate is. Even as a member of the “young generation” who was pretty much “born into” the world of fast-paced events, instant access (which is supposed to substitute for “instant gratification” by the way), personalized newsfeeds, tweets, and one-click-share-all hype, I can understand that Journalism is evolving into a Fifth Estate as described by Geoff Livingston on his blog.

Let’s “talk” about it. (I think “blogging” is more “conversational” than journalism. You’ll see what I’m talking about.)

© The Camping Journal

I’m going to “describe” the stereotypical “journalist” and “blogger” (if they even exist anymore.) But here’s my disclaimer: Just because I am describing these two professionals (or hobbyists), it must not be assumed that these are my personal views of journalists and bloggers. And I said “professionals or hobbyists” because I consider truly passionate journalists to be “hobbyists” and credible bloggers who share their knowledge about their field as “professionals.” But that’s just my opinion.

With that said, “journalists” are professionals. “Journalists” are also instigators. They stretch ideas, paint the wrong pictures, filter content, and distort the truth trying to sway opinions. (Gee, I sound like a clever journalist right there in that previous sentence! Oh dear…)

Now let’s switch roles. “Bloggers” are amateurs. We have no focus. We babble, rant, ramble, write about anything we want. Trust me. And we do it just because! (Probably because we spend time thinking about too many things, get frustrated that the world never offers an opportunity to share those thoughts with others; so then, we blog!) Or talk to ourselves via some text on a computer screen. It gives us sanity. Or else you’ll see bloggers “blogging” in real life (more like rambling) at work, at home, in the bathroom, at the grocer, at the post office, in our cars during rush hour, anywhere else you can imagine. (Yes, guys, I talk to myself part-time.) Kidding. Maybe just a quarter of the time…

Crazy, yes. Professional? Er, questionable. Ramblers, sometimes. Credible? Depends. But bloggers are honest. We base our knowledge on our personal experiences (which is why we can skip the interviews with others.) Bloggers speak for no one but ourselves. We do not interview others and “paraphrase” or “summarize”  others’ thoughts. We can share thoughts (however) with more-recognized individuals. And bloggers definitely gain a plethora of information from numerous sources that they encounter. (Whether or not those sources are credible is another issue).

So, “bloggers”, “journalists”, “bloggists”, “j-loggers” even! Whatever you want to call it, decent writers are decent story-tellers who tell real stories about the real world (and, yes, I think the internet is a real world whether we like it or not).

And P.S. I took “Creative Writing” and “Psychology” in high school but I wouldn’t dare say that I went to school to study Journalism.


Written by eSophieThinks

March 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM

2 Responses

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  1. It’s an interesting time. We’ll see how this all shake up. I would argue that not all bloggers are journalists, but that you can use a blog to report if that makes sense. Some bloggers or so obviously opining or self promoting that it wouldn’t be right to call it blogging.

    Geoff Livingston

    March 28, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    • Hello, Geoff! (Yay! I officially feel cool now that I have one comment on my post! AND it’s from Geoff Livingston!)

      Anyway, moving on… I definitely agree that not all bloggers are journalists but I do consider some bloggers’ opinions and insight as credible as journalists’ if said bloggers have done research, have enough insight about a topic/issue, AND share “news” based on undistorted facts and legitimacy.

      I’d so love to have a chat with you about Journalism, interview you, or even INVITE you to blog on my WordPress! Today, I read a post you wrote regarding Protection of Intellectual Property within the Social Networking world. I think it’s a very interesting topic — definitely one that I’d love to learn more about! And perhaps, I haven’t gotten my head around the whole plethora of issues involved (because I’m still in the stage of analyzing sources/credibility in my research about the issue). Again, I do consider you to be one of the fewest I’ve come across on the world of Google who seem to offer some relatively comprehensible perspective about issues of Journalism/Intellectual Property & Social Networking…

      Okay, my own blabber/typing is starting to annoy myself (lol)! I think the’spacebar’ key on the computer I’m using is broken because every time I tap on it, it makes a loud, annoying -tap,tap- sound… darn library computers!


      March 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM

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