Michelle Sullivan Communications

News of the Day : Blogger admitted to journalism union

The National Union for Journalists (NUJ), the union for journalists in Britain and Ireland, has admitted its first full-time freelance professional blogger as a member.

The blogger in question? Hull university student Conrad Quilty-Harper of tech blog Engadget.

Now this comes on the heels of an article penned by NUJ new media representative Donnacha DeLong, entitled Web 2.0 Is Rubbish, so the cynic in me suspects this might just be a PR move. All that said, it still represents a significant step in the evolution of bloggers / citizen journalists. Especially coming out of a union that’s celebrating its centenary this year.

An excerpt from the contentious article here, just to give you an idea :

(…) what’s wrong with it? Isn’t increased participation and feedback from our « users » — readers and viewers — a good thing? Of course it is, but the problem with Web 2.0 is not how it introduces these elements to the media, but how it’s seen as replacing traditional media. Professional media provide users with something that we need to fight to retain – truly authoritative content. (…) There are those who claim that Web 2.0 democratises the media. It would make everyone equal, yes, but should they be? It’s like saying anyone can play for Manchester United.

Nice blog, that Engadget. Check it out. Mr. Quilty-Harper’s postings are interesting, and I’m intrigued by the Clockwork Laptop, but I have a special place in my heart for this article, personally. When does Joshua Topolsky get his union card?

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