It can be challenging to be both a blogger and a journalist.
Knowing all that is possible online in terms of interaction, community and distribution, not to mention the speed with which the online debate moves, the chasm between the two different worlds can sometimes seem impossibly wide.
As a journalist you frequently find yourself trapped and constrained by numerous ill-founded ideas about sticky content, pay-walls, archaic content management systems, ill-advised formats, illogical workflow arrangements etc.
As a blogger you're your own man or woman and free take all sorts of liberties, including the liberty to bury the news in the fourth paragraph. I'm not going start applying the latter to my work as a journalist, but due to all the other reasons above, and a few more, I'm delighted to have joined Journalisten.no, where I'll be working as a journalist and with the community aspects of future online projects. You could say we're the equivalent of NUJ's The Journalist, though I'm sure you'd agree we're quite a few steps ahead online, and we plan to take many more steps into the future very soon, steps which include experimenting with Drupal.
The project offers me a chance to work with an editor who is very attuned to the potential of online media, as well as an old acquaintance I had fun working with half a life ago, in the early days of my writing career (yes, I do feel terribly old sometimes, but then I've always done, this was back in 96 or so, I was 19). For the time being, I'm working half-time, which enables me to retain old clients in various countries, take on occasional new assignments, and jump on a plane whenever I feel the need to spread my wings a bit.
I've been writing almost exclusively about media and the communications industry for quite a while now, both offline and online, so the focus of this blog will not change in any way, but I might mention a few stories I work on for Journalisten when they are relevant to the issues I blog about (and most of the time I'll be able to link to them, which wasn't always the case before).
Correspondingly, there will still be stories I don't blog about because I've covered them as a journalist. For instance, as a former NUJ-member, I was itching to say something about the whole NUJ-debacle recently, but I linked out to the key arguments when I wrote about it for journalisten.no, which was good for giving our readers a flavour of the debate – in this day and age, the challenges each nation's media industry face are more similar than they are different, at least in the Western world. So better watch this space when Journalisten, in months to come, gets more innovative online...