The word blog, or web log, used to mean little more than an online diary where amateur writers could pen their daily activities or opinions. Today, however, blogs are more often than not large websites that receive millions of visitors each day. Blogs like the Huffington Post andare some of the busiest websites on the Internet. There has been lots of controversy recently on whether bloggers are covered under the same laws that protect journalists. Here are five reasons to show that bloggers should be considered journalists.
1. They Have a Large Audience
Perhaps the biggest reason that bloggers should be considered journalists is because they have large audiences. Just like a journalist writing for the New York Times has his or her work read by millions of readers, so do blog writers who have devoted fans from around the world who check their websites daily.
2. They Earn Income From Their Blogs
Blogging used to be little more than a fun pastime or a hobby. Web enthusiasts who first started blogging reached small audiences and had no reason to write about anything but their interests and opinions. Today, many blogs have advertisements that earn them significant profits. Many bloggers actually earn significant incomes from their websites as well as sponsorship deals, free products and even trips across the globe. If you can earn a living from your blog, it makes sense that you are considered a journalist.
3. They Spend Time Writing and Researching
The definition of a journalist is someone who writes articles, spends time investigating and does plenty of research before publishing a story or article. The same could be said of many bloggers. A blogger who spends weeks researching a hot topic in current affairs and then crafts a carefully thought out and brilliantly written piece seen by millions of readers should certainly be considered to be a journalist.
4. They Cover Popular and Current Topics
While many blogs cover less significant topics like health, weight loss, relationships and fashion, many others focus on important news events. By writing about current events, new books and recently released films, it stands to reason that bloggers are covering news stories. This, in turns, means that they are journalists.
5. They Follow Similar Laws and Guidelines
Many bloggers are not considered to be journalists in a court of law unless they are connected in some obvious way to a news organization or newspaper. However, it is important to note that bloggers are required to follow certain laws that apply to journalists. For example, bloggers who review products on their websites have to include Federal Trade Commission disclaimers if they received any products for free or received any additional compensation for their reviews. </p>
<p> Although a recreational blogger and a serious news journalist have some difference, they also have a lot in common. Serious bloggers who maintain popular websites for a large audience, make a significant income from their business, spend time researching and writing original articles and cover popular topics in the news should absolutely be considered as journalists. </p>
Remi Cowles writes full-time for education blogs nationwide. She writes for www.usc.edu where you can find out more about online masters degree in communications.