I've read, so many times over the past couple of years, mainstream media lambasting the blogosphere. Hating that bloggers haven't the same credentials as journalists, haven't put in the years of study and hard work of journalists. How new media was destroying newspapers and magazines
In a way, I can sympathise. I hate seeing respected newspapers closing down their papers, laying off reporters and editors by the thousands. I think I will quite literally cry if the NYT ever has to go out of circulation. And yet, I'm part of the problem. I can't read newspapers and I don't watch television. I source my news exclusively online. Granted, some of these major news organisations have moved with the times and are now publishing online, and it is from these that I get most of my news (eg - about 3 or 4 out of NYT, CNN, BBC, Reuters ABCNews first thing every morning and last thing at night).
As for magazines, or syndicated newspapers (I'm looking at you Fairfax, and you Murdoch), I'm happy not to need them for my news. I have immediate access to international news sites now. More and more, these conglomerate-owned papers are starting to feel like the kind of tabloid journalism I abhor. I start feeling like we may as well lay down our arms and just turn into Today Tonight or A Current Affair or The Sun.
So anyway. There was, believe it or not, a point to this. I was a little nervous when I heard around the traps that The Age was doing a magazine article on "Mummy Bloggers", 4 in particular. They interviewed Eden Riley, Kerri Sackville, Naomi Pritchard-Tiller and Beth MacDonald. Four very different bloggers, so it seemed to have the potential to be a well rounded article.
Until it wasn't. First things first. The most important. Two HUGE errors. Naomi's Dad is in this article, dead. In real life? Not so much. Doing rather well, in fact. And Eden? Her relapse? Not 7 months long. She was drinking for a weekend. It's still a relapse. It still broke our hearts to read of it. But the way it's presented in the article? Insensitive and incorrect. You'd think being 'journalists', they'd have gotten those facts straight.
I've seen a lot of Bloggers on Twitter tonight, clearly disgusted by the story. Julietta Jameson has chosen to take these 4 women, and say that their families are missing out because of thier mothers' 'hobby'. Worse again. That's the spin they want to put on this? Not only do they look down on bloggers, but they have to make us look like bad mothers and wives while they do it.
But do you know what annoyed me more? That what was totally disregarded is the amazing things that can be accomplished by "Mummy" bloggers (head over to Eden's blog and read about her trip to Niger. Go back to September of last year and re-read the RUOK day posts). It went beyond that though. Here's the thing.
These women - they're writers. Most "Mummy" blogs aren't about nappies and prams and playgroups and teasing. They're not about evil Mothers in law or Husbands who won't put the seat down. They only occasionally touch upon the day-to-day life of a parent (because there are also "Daddy" blogs, you know).
But they are so much more. So many bloggers, myself included don't blog just about our families. Sometimes, it's writing. Honest-to-goodness-soul-baring pages that reveal who we are and what we dream of. Words that tell so much more about our stories than any magazine article would care to do.
We don't all start blogging because we're so bored at home, desperate for something to do (which seems to be implied). We start blogging because the words, they're in our hearts and our heads and we need them to come out somewhere. And we try it, and our souls catch fire when other people, people like us read our words and 'get' us. When they share back and we get to know them too.
We blog because like the rest of the world, there's more than one dimension to us. We don't JUST care about how to get vegetables into our 4 year olds. We care about how women are treated across the oceans. We care about the lack of basic food and water for communities thousands of miles away from us. We care about art and literature and music just like everyone else. And we write it and we share it and we make people aware of the things we care about. And we learn about the things other people care about.
Read about our blog entries that are love letters to our children, just waiting for the day they're old enough to fathom the depth of our love. Entries that are an outpouring of devotion to our partners, a thank you for being the person who saves us from ourselves.
The blog posts that are a call to arms, rallying the troops behind someone, one of our own, who needs us Right.Now. Who's world has fallen apart and the only thing that will help hold the pieces together are the connections we've made by sharing our lives, sharing pieces of our hearts. Sharing a community of comfort and healing words.
Forget, just the once, trying to put a 'spin' on blogging. Forget the crap about monetising and who's popular. Blog about the beautiful writing that can come from bloggers. Mummy Bloggers. Daddy Bloggers. Any bloggers. Some of them aren't 'just' bloggers. They're writers too.
Why can't you write about that, Julietta?