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Blogging: An Emotional Medium?

by C. Ross Jam on September 19, 2010

The intersection of blogging and journalism was an emphasis of my last gig. Since I’ve moved on I’ve pretty much avoided thinking or blogging about journalism. Just callin’ it part of the past life.

But recently a few background cycles have gone to the topic and I thought I had a little epiphany.

Blogging has developed into a fundamentally emotional medium. By emotional I mean that to be an effective blogger, not even high profile, you generally have to show passion or have a point of view. The consensus is that the best bloggers bring that to their writing. Even those coming from traditional journalism have to migrate away from the typical objective, inverted pyramid of the print newsroom. TV, most people would agree, has an emotional bias due to its reliance on visual images. Audiences are being conditioned to expect this type of emotional content on the Web.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being emotionally driven, but that makes the medium somewhat in opposition to our stated principles about journalism. Dumping objectivity, non-partisanship, and rational discourse, all intended to help dampen the damaging aspects of the non-rational, leads to radicalism of all sorts. Emotional responses have a somewhat checkered past in the history of mankind.

If true, this is a troubling thesis as the Web becomes more and more interconnected with our social and cultural lives.

Just thinking out loud.

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