The Fresh Princess poses an interesting question over at Pokerati about conflicts of interest in blogging, and links to this interesting CNET article about the topic. Which got me thinking. are we journalists?
Obviously there are some of us who are. Nobody's going to question the journalistic abilities and ethics of Dr. Pauly or the Up For Poker boys. But what about the rest of us? Those of us who aren't doing this professionally, or at best are doing this "semi-pro." Or more to the point, really, what about me? Because that's what it's all about, right? Me.
My blog, bitches, of course it's all about me. Believe it or not, this is something I've thought about before now, and before the whole ReviewMe controversy and before I started doing sponsored posts for PayPerPost. Once upon a time I took a journalism class, and was filled with all the idealism of becoming the next Bob Woodward. Only chubbier. Then I found out how much reporters get paid and decided public education would be far more lucrative.
So what am I? Well, I'm not a journalist, at least not here. This blog is not about reporting news. I might occassionally throw you a bone if I get wind of something newsworthy, but usually that's going to end up on Pokerworks. That's where I'm writing the things that might be looked upon as news. Or analysis of news, or regurgitation of news, or something like that. I like the work I do over there, because it allows me to fulfill the Woodward jones I still occassionally have, and I think I've done some decent writing over there.
But not everything I write there is like this article, which I thought was a pretty good piece on the WTO case between Antigua and the US. Some things are promo pieces, designed to inform visitors to Pokerworks about tourneys or new features on online poker sites, which by the way are the main method by which Pokerworks pays its bills. Those pieces aren't journalism by any stretch, they're ads. And there's nothing wrong with that. Pokerworks needs to pay the bills, including mine, and sponsorships by online poker rooms is how they do that. I don't think anyone is going to confuse this article I wrote promoting Mermaid Poker's freerolls with Haley's epic analysis and investigative report on the WSOP website and all its permutations.
But does that make me less of a journalist than Haley? No. The thing that makes me less of a journalist than Haley, or Amy, or Pauly, or Otis or any of a number of other folks is that I'm not a journalist. I'm a writer. A scribbler. Every once in a while I'll get a chance to put on my Woodward hat and dig for a story, or break down a big pile of facts with decent analysis. But not often.
Usually, I'm a storyteller, a bard, a drunken scribe sitting in the corner looking at events through my own filter. And that's I suppose the big difference for me. Journalists are supposed to be objective, to subjugate themselves in the facts and the reporting thereof. Bloggers are by nature individual, and we celebrate our filters, our individual take on the facts, our spin on events.
And that, I suppose, is what makes this more fun. I don't really know if this ramble made any sense, but the end isn't what matters here, it's the journey. I guess I boil it down this way. Pokerstage is my gay online diary, and Pokerworks is where I write professionally, with more a sense of journalistic responsibility. So far, it's been a good ride. I enjoy writing the stuff I write at Pokerworks, and I couldn't stop this crazy train over here even if I tried. But I'm not a journalist, so I don't hold myself to those standards. I am however a writer (some days moreso than others), and damn proud to be one.