Columnist Calls Blogging Air Guitar Journalism

Posted on May 7, 2007

Sunday Times columnist David Bullard has written an article about blogs for the Sunday Times that qualifies as pure blog pessimism. In the piece Bullard says most blogs sites are the "air guitars of journalism."

Allow me to explain what I mean. I used to play air guitar with a band called Deep Purple. My playing was perfect, I had attitude and I even smashed my air guitar at the end of the number. The reason I played air guitar is that I couldn't play real guitar very well so I was forced to dwell in this fantasy world where my guitar playing meant something only to me. I should point out that this was years ago when I was still young and foolish. These days I play air tenor saxophone, which is far more challenging.

Most blog sites are the air guitars of journalism. They're cobbled together by people who wouldn't stand a hope in hell of getting a job in journalism, mainly because they have very little to say. It's rather sad how many people think the tedious minutiae of their lives will be of any interest to anyone else.

It's even sadder when someone reads them.

Many bloggers prefer to remain anonymous and with good reason. The content of their sites is so moronic that even their best friends would disown them if they knew they were the authors. As with most things in life, something that costs nothing is usually worth nothing and that puzzles me. Are there really 70 million bloggers out there hoping that their writing talents will be recognised, or is this just another example of modern narcissism?

Air guitar journalism is a funny analogy but Bullard is focusing on personal blogs that really are intent on writing about the "tedious minutiae of their lives" and ignoring the blogs that actually do research and investigate specific subjects and issues. Bullard is also ignoring blogs that are written by experts in their fields. No one expects journalists to talk about their daily lives and that isn't what is discussed on many of these professional blogs. Using miscellaneous personal blogs as a comparison tool between blogs and journalism really isn't fair to blogs. There are a lot of excellent blogs that are well researched. Often these blogs are followed by good journalists covering a story and the blogs or bloggers are often quoted in news stories. The recent pet food recall problem was just one example where blogs/websites like PetConnection became a source for journalists covering a story.

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