Journalist Compares Blogging to Baking Bread

Posted on May 13, 2006

Blogging has been compared to baking bread for the first time -- as far as we know of. Dan Brown uses baking bread in a his latest column in the London Free Press (link no longer available) to explain why citizen journalism and blogs won't replace journalism.

Brown argues that "Citizen journalism is going to remain a limited enterprise because the average person just doesn't the time or energy to spare." Here he misses the point that citizen journalism is not always about individuals.

Brown then compares this to people not make their own bread and letting bakers do it. He says, "Let me demonstrate my point with an analogy. The technology also exists for the average person to make their own bread, but how many of us do so? You'd have to buy a bread maker, round up the ingredients, then dedicate a part of your day to baking. Most of us figure it's easier and more convenient to let the professionals handle all of that, so we make a mental trade-off and pick up our bread needs at the grocery store."

Investigative journalism is very time consuming and fits very well with what Dan Brown is saying. However, it is easy to argue that some forms of journalism are directly threatened. Newspaper commentary on music, movies, television, etc. can be challenged by bloggers. Anyone can watch the latest movie or listen to the latest album and give their opinion on it in a blog. Most of these bloggers will not have a background nearly as deep and rich as some of the entertainment columnists but you can bet that a few will. Some local bloggers may know as much about their city or town as the local newspapers' journalists do. There are also many tech bloggers that know as much about technology and the latest products as the technology journalists do. So, there are areas where blogging and citizen journalism is a threat to the mainstream media -- especially if the bloggers take the time to "bake bread." One also has to consider that with citizen journalism all the citizen journalists are baking bread together and sharing resources. This reduces the time and increases the resources an individual citizen journalists needs to commit.