Is a blogger a journalist?

Should properly trained journalists be afraid of bloggers invading their turf? I was talking today to a journalist who’s at the top of her game. She writes cover stories about A-Plus list celebs for one of the best-known popular mags. She’s wonderful writer and reporter with all the training and the dream pedigree.

She told me that mainstream magazines are starting to hire bloggers with no training and no skills. But the in-depth stories that I like to read, take vast amounts of reporting and research. There are sources and teams of reporters who get the whole 360 degree picture of the story. The information comes in thick and fast and it all has to be pulled together into a readable and entertaining and informative whole.

This is a far cry from what bloggers do. As with this piece now, which I am writing essentially on the fly – it’s just a thing that is on my mind right now and may stimulate some thinking on your part. But the features in Vanity Fair or People or Us are researched and crafted and end up deep, wonderful, fascinating and entertaining. I love them.

I also the party blogs of people like Kelly Samardak, written with flair and wit – but those are very much of the moment and disposable. I am sure there is a place for both.

This issue applies to a lot of creative endeavors – the tools and channels are available – does that make everyone good at it? Did the introduction of the Brownie camera and the Polaroid make us all into Photographers? Did YouTube make us all into Moviemakers? Or is there a place for all?