21
Mai
08

Entrevista| Interview : How important is blogging to you?


Dei esta entrevista a Azeem Ahmad há já umas semanas, para uma dissertação para o Curso de Jornalismo da Universidade de Birmingahm, onde ele é estudante. Para já fica sem tradução, mas se pedirem com jeitinho….

I gave this interview to Azeem Ahmad, a journalism student at Birmingham U. for a dissertation he was writing, a couple of weeks ago. I hope these thoughts were useful.

How important is blogging to you, and your business?

Extremely important. As a freelance (make that unemployed) journalist, i had to create a portfolio to show off my abilities, conduct some research…It’s been my main activity for this past year, and i wish i could make money out of it, but for now it has helped me to create a network of professional contacts, that already came in handy.

Why do you think blogs are so popular?

The popularity of blogs, as writing is concerned, relates to the need we all have to:

1st- communicate
2nd- express ourselves
3rd- be admired for the things we do

There are other reasons, but i believe that from the confessional to the professional kind, these three are always present. And regular blog readers like blogs because:

1st- they like the person behind the blog
2nd- they hate the person behind the blog
3rd- they find a type of content that is more appealing to them than print, radio or tv

From these, the latter is the most important: blogs provide a unique vision on a subject, not only due to the bloggers persona and ontology, but because of the experience that can be enhanced by embedding multimedia elements in text. So we both value the intimacy and intelligence that blogs hold, and the fireworks created by technlogy.

And, above all, the interaction between creator/reader and reader/reader, promotes a sharing experience that is the main element in the new forms of communication.


Why do you believe that so many people now have blogs?

Because they can. Blogs are the death of padlock diaries hidden under little girls beds. People now can express freely (anonimously or not) about what they want the way they want. And the technology is so simple that anyone can use it. Blogs became the ultimate form of personal expression in our age. People share so much information about themselves and their knowledge that it became addictive to follow and create more information, trade it, all of this for free.

What do you understand by the term ‘Citizen Journalist’?

Someone who doesn’t make a living as a journalist, but that creates/gathers/contributes with news content, motivated by opportunity, civical conscience, or personal entertainment.


Do you think the events of 9/11 in New York catapulted UGC, and blogging into the mainstream?

It sure helped to give more visibility to blogging, but it was such a strong issue that anything about it was relevant in the stream of information. There were many strong opinions then in the blogosphere wich helped to give credit to this news information source, but most of them came from established opinion makers, not from the regular folk. And it coincided with the appearance of new blogging platforms, better internet connections, user-friendly software, which means it all happened at the same time: a huge event that triggered expert reactions in a new environment that right after became more accessible to anyone.

How importantly do you value UGC (User Generated Content) such as Photo’s/Video’s that are sent in by the public?

I find them extremely important, journalists can´t be everywhere,or as fast as they need, but now we can have the footage right away, the decisive moment captured by witnesses. I guess it’s like when the reporter got to the scene and asked to someone who was there “what happened?”. Now we don’t even have to ask. Content is king, no matter where it comes from. But we still need skilled persons to do the job.

Do you see blogging as an alternative to traditional journalism?

No, blogging and journalism are two different things. I can do journalism with my blog, but that means i have this set of rules similar to journalism rules and ethics (or not, but as long my goal is to share the truth about a specific event, and the truth here being my version of reality based on verifiable facts). Blogging is not a name for an activity, but a format. Journalists will have to learn how to work with a blog format, like they have to learn to work for a radio or tv format. A blogger can be a journalist or vice-versa, but journalism will be journalism no matter what.The difference is not in the medium but in the purpose. That’s why propaganda is different from journalism too.


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