There is a debate that tends to irritate me; are bloggers journalists and should they be taken seriously? In some cases, people hold me lesser because they think am “just a blogger” and others think am not a real journalist because my work is mainly online.
Usually I dont argue with these perceptions but the other day I was incensed by one exec. It was a lunch for journalists and the PR agency had invited me I think because we have know each other for long. In attendance were journalists who I have known for some time, and we started catching up. The exec said, one would think you are a journo the way you are familiar with these guys. I asked: kwani what am I? He said: you are a blogger. Shock on me, maybe he thought I was only there to enjoy the meal.
Then there is the debate by mainstream media and the way they vilify bloggers, like it or hate it, they serve a purpose and they have an audience. I think one of the blogs that has evoked the emotions of media houses is media madness they have managed to have all the gossip and truths about media houses. For the longest time, the media has been untouchable and no one could comment on anything but now blogs allow people to be veiled and reveal all they can.
The blog has its following, I recall there was a post with 250 comments, cant trace it but suffice to say that within the first two hours of posts on the site going up, there are usually 50 comments. Now, imagine how many people read but dont comment.
I like taking a time out and reading what they have to say, I love it when they say someone was escorted to the lifts by guards, meaning someone was fired at the Nation Media Group. I have never worked at NMG, maybe I can never make the grade but tales of how people were escorted by guards to clear their desks and get off the building were always chilling. I have always wondered, how can an org. that fights for human rights treat its people that way? As I said, I cant make the grade, so allow me to rant on that.
Then take some of the writers you have online wamathai.com is an example of the writers who are seeking opportunities. How many journalists have that kind of creativity and eloquence demonstrated in some of those articles? Even I can’t write some of those, they require time and extensive reading to enrich my vocabulary, which has sort of gone south as I pursue more money making ventures.
I am not by any chance saying that journalists cant write, look at Bikozulu.wordpress.com he averages 60 comments and his style makes you want to read more and more. Forget that they say you must break the text with photos and make it short to attract more readers, his are longer pieces and still people read and comment.
There is no doubt that blogs have allowed people to tell tales that they would otherwise not share. Eaxample: nairobinights.co.cc allows the author to share her exploits as a prostitute. The language tells you that this is someone who is well educated and knows her style. At this rate, am sure she will attract clients online and maybe go on to establish an office backed by e-commerce and Mpesa.
Such are the opportunities blogging can provide!
So, love or hate, blogging will go on. Maybe it will be the new way to have checks and balances, in the media, government etc….