Over at the Financial Times editor Lionel Barber said that most news organizations will be charging for content in the next 12 months. He also stated that he is confident that this will happen. It is also believed that Robert Murdoch and his news group would start charging within a year while the New York Times, could begin charging for online news within three to four weeks.

The article also states that:

Barber made a distinction between “crafted” journalism and blogs “largely based on opinion rather than established fact [and] becoming increasingly influential in setting the news agenda”. “Bloggers have broken important stories and will continue to do so,” he said.

But he said they “do not operate according to the same standards as those who aspire to and practise crafted journalism. They are often happy to report rumour as fact, arguing that readers or fellow networkers can step in to correct those “facts” if they turn out to be wrong. They are rarely engaged in the pursuit of original news: their bread and butter is opinion and comment.”

“I do not wish to sound precious. British journalism has always put a premium on the scoop and it has long blurred the distinction between news and comment,” said Barber.

“The rise of bloggers may simply signal the last gasp of the age of deference, not just in politics but also in general social mores in Britain, America and elsewhere. Nor does it follow that the worldwide web has dumbed down journalism.

Interesting. So what is a journalist? A simple definition would be a writer for newspapers or magazines. So if you are a ‘journalist’ and you constantly reported the story about Microsoft buying Yahoo, day after day, which turned out to be a non event, does that make you a blogger?  If you are a ‘journalist’ and you attack a political organization because they differ in their opinion to what your newspaper or magazine supports, and you use half truths or down right lies, does that make you a blogger? If your newspaper or magazines accepts letters to the editor, are they not just comments? So does that make the editor a blogger?

Hold on for one moment. You ‘journalists’, newspapers and magazines came onto the Internet and have dug yourself into a hole because you were not smart enough to succeed. You came into the back yard of geeks thinking that all you had to do to be successful was to splash your name on a web site. Now that you are having financial troubles you blame the bloggers. You blame Google. You blame everyone else but yourselves.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.