Every once in a while I allow myself to roam around the internet reading other writing sites or forums. Without fail, I’ll come across a few posts or forum threads that are less than flattering to online writers. Often times the comments are from folks who have extensive experience writing in offline publications and who have gone to school to become journalists.
Journalism vs Content Writing – Two Different Worlds
I’m not quite sure why the argument keeps coming up. I’ve written online and offline, but I’ve never been a journalist. As a matter of fact, I equate my writing style with my wardrobe (my daughter has just done the palm to forehead move), timeless (I’m still wearing the same jeans that I wore before she was born).
Getting back on point…Don’t get me wrong, not all of my writing will withstand the test of time (Suite 101 is showing me that), but what I’m getting at is that I tend to write pieces that are evergreen. I won’t write about the latest gossip or fads. As a matter of fact, of my several hundred articles online, I have only a handful of seasonal articles.
This is why I’m so confused. So many online content writers write instructional, historical or timeless information type articles. There is no comparison to what I write and what a journalist writes. Why all the hoopla?
What is a Journalist?
The conversations had me so perplexed that I decided to do a little research and came across this interesting explanation of what a journalist is and does. In reviewing the article, I found that I have a few things in common with journalists. Namely, I like to write, I have a desire to influence for good and a desire for knowledge. I also write because it’s the one profession that allows me to bounce from topic to topic as I see fit.
Having these qualities in common does not make me a journalist. As with most online writers, we write because we like it and can earn money doing it. We’re not out to take away jobs from seasoned journalists or anyone else for that matter; although, not everyone agrees (as evident in the post in which I gave the Sourpuss Award to a seasoned professional).
Enough to Go Around
Even with dwindling opportunities in the print market, I still believe there’s enough to go around. It’s all a matter of adapting to the new environment.
I’ll end this post with a quote from a wise lady who once posted the phrase on the NJFM blog. I told her that I was adding it to my “Favorite Phrases” list and I did. Here it is:
“Life is about change and no business or workplace is immune from it. The ones who adapt and move forward are the ones who will prosper in the end.” By Julie: Residual Income Writer