Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So can we stop talking about bloggers vs. journalists now?

The Pulitzer Prize win by the Huffington Post for a series on injured soldiers was hailed by some as a victory for the “blogosphere,” a first-time win of the prestigious journalism award by a “blog.” But the fact is that those terms have become increasingly meaningless — especially when describing an entity like the Huffington Post, which has blog-like aspects and also newspaper-like aspects. Meanwhile, traditional media such as the New York Times have also been developing increasingly blog-like features, which is further blurring those dividing lines. What we have now are just media outlets, some large and some small, some of which are online-only and some of which also print things on paper. Can we move on now?

It’s true that the Huffington Post started life as a “blog,” or rather a loosely-connected network of bloggers, as a long profile of the website in the Columbia Journalism Review makes clear. Co-founder Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti used Arianna Huffington’s broad connections within the entertainment and political communities to pull together an eclectic group of commenters who were willing to write for nothing — and that core group expanded dramatically as the Post continued to grow. That growth was fueled by Peretti’s understanding of online media and chief technology officer Paul Berry’s understanding of how the internet (including search-engine optimization) works.

Full story at Gigaom.

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