Content and Copywriting

Judge Ye Not Journalist/Blogger/Writer

Mean Writers Suck

A while back a got a message from a reader informing me that I’m not a journalist. I’m sure many bloggers get messages like this since some journalists feel threatened by internet writing. Some say blogs and content sites are taking away their jobs. Others say the internet is lowering journalistic standards.

Now, don’t think I have a vendetta against journalists. I went to J-school (what journalists call journalism school), actually. I was my college’s newspaper editor, as well as the editor of a college club’s newspaper. Just because I blog or write for the internet doesn’t make me a bumpkin. Just because another writer didn’t go to journalism school doesn’t make him or her a worse writer than someone who did, either.
It’s all about choices.
I choose to write primarily for internet mediums because they pay more quickly than other publications. Someone else may go with writing for magazines because a minority of them pay $1 per word. To each his own.
We writers need to stop judging each other based on silly preconceptions. If a writer has a strong voice and her writing is entertaining or informative, that’s all that really matters. How they make their money or where they went to school is their own business. 

I've been a DIY, lifestyle, tech and health writer for two decades. Dang, that makes me sound old...Anywhoo, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I'm @alinabradford. Real original handle, huh?


  • Alina Bradford

    I think there's many reasons to believe that internet is the new medium for information and entertainment. It isn't a fad and traditional writers need to realize this. Will the internet replace paper articles and books? I hope not. I think they can co-exist.

  • Jennifer Groepl

    The way I look at it is that people insult when they feel threatened. It's a back-handed compliment, really.

    Also, there are many in the writing industry who will freely insult those they know will not "fight back" (i.e., those who may try to break into traditional publishing at some point and don't want to ruin their chances by pissing someone off). It's amazing how much abuse writers are supposed to just accept as "part of the process". I write because I have something to say. If people don't want to read it, then don't read it, right?

    One thing I realized while researching my family tree is something I continue to keep in mind now. There are many people online who will NOT share their information if you ask nice, BUT if you put up incorrect information they will be the first to publicly correct you to make you look stupid. I find that says a lot about human nature. Extending a helping hand? Nope. Publicly humiliating someone? Yes, please. Go figure.

  • Alina Bradford

    I agree, Al and Angie. Writers write different things for different reasons. I wouldn't call a novelist a poor writer just because she doesn't write news. So why do internet writers get all the flack? Because the internet is a new medium. It's scary. Fear breeds hate, as they say.

  • Angie R

    The idea that the internet is lowering journalistic standards makes me laugh. Those standards aren't being lowered by writers, they're being lowered by so-called news organizations that are willing to accept poorly researched and written schlock as long as it pulls eyeballs – and it's hardly just on the internet.

    You don't think I'm a journalist? Fine and dandy. I never claimed to be. I don't write much hard news, most of the topics I write about would be considered features, maybe soft news. Those are areas I never thought of as 'journalism' in the first place, although I *do* have a strong journalistic background (I didn't complete j-school, changed majors when I realized that there were so many journalism majors that the degree was a quick route to a career that involved "Would you like fries with that?")

    I may not be a journalist, but I'm a professional. I'm a writer. And I'm a damn good one.

  • AL Fetherlin

    Agreed! Good post. Thank you for speaking up for the rest of us who write for Internet sites to pay our bills.

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