DailyMail picture, photographer in the corner!
One of the reasons why I decided against pursuing journalism, after several years in high school of thinking about it, after visiting the Newseum several times both by myself and with others, after adoring my time at NSLC, arguing with my parents and finally winning, and being crushed when I didn’t get into the Syracuse S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications…well. Part of the reason was that I decided that I couldn’t do what James Foley did and what field journalists in heart-breaking and explosion-filled continue to do in pursuit of truth and knowledge. Rest in peace Mr. Foley, and I wish his family well and hope the pain and stress his execution has caused them is not exacerbated too much by other terrible, terrible people in the world.
I’m not saying the whole field is excellent and courageous or that there isn’t any value in blogger and other user-created content (far from it! I’ve been involved in the YouTube community since Brotherhood 2.0 started, and I always make sure to support the internet folks I learn from and enjoy), but I always think it’s funny when bloggers say they’re journalists, or that they’re “arm-chair journalists” or “keyboard journalists.” Coming from a blogger as well, one who is just as cowardly as many of the writers I’m talking about, I think it’s stupid.
Even if we’re not comparing ourselves to journalists like Mr. Foley, I don’t know any blogger who’s had to (because as bloggers, we CAN stay anonymous. That’s not always an option if writing is your profession.) sign their names on pieces of writing that people take seriously indicting someone famous of a crime or simply unethical behavior, or take on a government for their sins (Link 1). Maybe even their own (Link 2).