Last week, at the White House the President of the United States Barack Obama officially medaled the 2015 National Arts and National Humanities Awards winner in an intimate ceremony in the East Room.
Of course, the Press was there to capture and document the event which involved formal reading of each winner’s citation, the president placing the medal around the neck of the winner, shaking their hand or giving a hug followed by a photo opp.
Snap! Snap! Click! Click! went the shutters of the photojournalists who make up the White House press corp. Mel Brooks, Audra McDonald and Berry Gordy were among the most famous recipients. Morgan Freeman and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis missed the ceremony.
POTUS joked during the ceremony about Freeman’s absence, “he’s probably out somewhere filming a movie and playing a black president.” The joke elicited laughter form the crowd.
Before the row of photographers and alongside the East Wall in the grande hall, was a few rows of professional journalists, many of whom work for the majors (New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, AP, Reuters, CBS, NBC, Fox etc)
I was in the mix too, credentialed based on this here website, Jenebaspeaks.com, once dedicated to poli-tech and media policy but now more focused on empowering digital entrepreneurs and creatives.
My presence represented the many independent bloggers and website owners that influence and provide news and information to millions of Americans (and others worldwide) who do NOT read newspapers or rely on the local news,radio or cable networks for making them aware of world events.
More and more marketers, government agencies, companies and the like are realizing that it is essential to not exclude bloggers from covering their events and news. Bloggers have their own resource category on the website of the largest public relations interface platform, PRNewswire.
I would never say that bloggers are the “new journalists” because many do not adhere to the same professional standards that journalist must abide by: follow AP Style manual, remain impartial, have original content, properly source content and get their own independent quotes and sources. Most bloggers quote from and rely on articles written by journalists at established outlets.
To be honest, I enjoy the relaxed standards of writing a blog compared to writing for a news site, which I did as a freelancer for a while recently.
I went to journalism school at the University of Maryland at College Park and have a journalism degree. I also have many journo friends who have told me that they dislike the fact that some bloggers do not heed to embargo warnings, or recognize concepts such as “off the record” or maintaining confidentiality of sources.
I know it frustrates them that bloggers get the same access and are elevated to their platform when they feel like they put in the hours and grit that a lot of bloggers simply didn’t and don’t have to deposit.
Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the JayJayGhatt.com and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!