In most cases, the answer is no. However, blogging is still an incredibly important source of content and community for readers and journalists alike. It may not be considered factual reporting, but its influence persists.
This duality leaves us with something else to ponder: Does blogging pose a reputational risk to professional journalists? With media layoffs increasing around the world, many freshly freelance reporters are asking themselves this very question.
Benefits of Blogging as a Freelance Journalist
Depending on your professional goals, there are many reasons to begin blogging. Just a few include:
The Risks of Blogging as a Freelance Journalist
Despite the many benefits of blogging, as a trained journalist, you cannot forgo the code of ethics you learned at J school. With so much freedom and so little regulation, blogging can tempt even the most rigid of reporters to forsake the honor code.
Most importantly, you won’t have an editor looking over your shoulder. Even if that sounds nice, the editor is the one who will catch mistakes and oversights you otherwise would have missed. From factually inaccurate statements to unreliable sources to grammatical errors, you might very well publish something that damages your career long-term.
Additionally, without the media house resources to interview sources, you might be forced to glean information from other journalists’ stories. While this would be fine for a non-journalist blogger, as a professional reporter, you might find yourself flirting with plagiarism.
How to Reduce the Risks
Want to reap the benefits of blogging without taking unnecessary risks? Be sure to:
Navigating modern media isn’t easy as a freelancer, but 5WH is here to help. To learn more about membership, visit www.5wh.com.