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What Are Blogging Mums Really About OR Whatever Happened to Actual Journalism?

by Twitchy on April 15, 2012

Today I opened my Sunday Life magazine to peruse with my coffee. To my great excitement, four bloggers I recognise (Kerri Sackville, Eden Riley, Beth MacDonald and Naomi Pritchard-Tiller) were featured in great photos. Some of these women I follow the work of keenly and have either met or had the pleasure of chatting with many times and knowing on a more personal level. Then I read it. It could’ve been really good- it’s a great shame it wasn’t.

Here I go again banging on about bloggers but it seems quite necessary today- these are real people with real lives we’re talking about. People whose words and stories have been manipulated, wrongly reported and belittled.

Update 16/4/12:
Here are two of the interviewees’ own (deeply disappointed, hurt and mortified) responses. Eden’s is below.
Naomi P-T (Under the Yardarm: Owning the Words)
Beth MacDonald (BabyMac: Ghost Town)

As blogging in Australia takes off, more mainstream media spreads the word to the general populace about it. Many still do not understand it- heck, my own family don’t. Many PR’s still don’t. Those who don’t get it could be forgiven for thinking blogging is nothing more than attention-seeking navel-gazing on a stupendous scale, some of which attracts advertising funds and selfishly desecrates family privacy. (Watch me now as I blog about bloggers and blogging!) Especially when that’s what articles such as Sunday Life’s would have you understand.

What this disservice of a focus does not acknowledge is the depth and strength of community blogging builds. A community that can be inspiring, truthful, raw, altruistic, supportive and so very giving of themselves. Giving of their time and their donations to many causes- the very antithesis of egocentric. There is awareness. There is loyalty, trust, integrity. There is connection, investment, generosity. Mutual learning and teaching. There’s acceptance and a protective aspect. There is writing of quality and the sharing of ideas that continues to raise the bar. It’s saved many. It continues to keep others going. I detailed this aspect with gratitude after meeting even more bloggers at the Digital Parents Blogging Conference last month.

Why do we connect and write in this way? In the light of this article, could there be any greater irony in that having a blog is a way of expressing oneself exactly as one intends, free of outside editing, influence or censorship?

The article in today’s magazine did say relay some points well but reinforced the couple of things the public already think or or think they know. Then it took some of the interviewees’ details and got them very, very wrong. I’m not speaking for others, but I will point you to their own words in the wake of the article.

Nomit Pt's tweet

What was said about Eden Riley was not only intensely personal and inaccurate but more potentially damaging to her and her family than anything she’d ever choose to truthfully share. And she shares a lot. Whether these inaccuracies were due to design or poor ‘journalism’ is not clear but either way unacceptable. Lucky our Eden’s one tough cookie. I hope more people do visit her site and learn a few things from her unique and authentic perspective.

In a world where more and more mainstream media sources manipulate words and images to suit their purposes (leaving us only guessing as to their true origins) I’ll stick with reading the bloggers I adore and trust. I love the stories and the truth in them and even if the humour lends itself to exaggeration at least it does not purport to be something it’s not.

I’m not the only disappointed reader with something to say on this. You can read some other bloggers’ viewpoints in their words:
here http://alexandrawrote.com/a-blogger-a-real-writer-same-difference
here http://www.louisaclaire.com/louisa-2/inside-scoop-mummy-bloggers-ignore-their-husbands-feelings-and-write-to-get-sympathy/
and here. http://carlyfindlay.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/on-why-we-need-to-value-bloggers.html

As for sensationalist, reader-attractive, advertiser-sexy skewed pieces- well I need look no further than mainstream and weekend magazines. (Oh, could you show us a little more leg, please?) Pots and kettles people, pots and kettles. I’m with the kettles.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Stella Orbit April 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Well said. It was a shocking piece of journalism. I was terribly sad about some many great people were so hurt and misrepresented.

Thanks for writing xo

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Kirrily @ Sunny Side Up April 17, 2012 at 6:28 am

Standing and applauding. This is so well said. Articulate to the max… n stuff…! ;-P

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Maid In Australia April 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Twitchy thank you for sharing your wonderful words. The article upset me greatly, since I also know and admire these fabulous writers and mothers. They were so misrepresented, but I am sure anyone who reads them – and new readers too- will realise that already.

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Thanks for saying that B, I’m glad my feelings resonated. It’s hard to watch others get burnt for choosing to do something in good faith.

Mrs Woog April 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

Thanks for writing this and supporting them xx

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Of course- I’m upset for them. They were specifically pitched one thing and got served up another. Stinks. 🙁 xx

Carli@tinysavages April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

Wonderful post on something which unfortunately has me completely jaded about my studies. It was such a wasted opportunity.

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thank you Carli. Sad, isn’t it? Idealistic people go into studies such as journalism and law wanting to make a difference but find out much of the time that the payroll comes from different philosophies. It helps to remember that there are always avenues. We just have to choose them wisely.

Maria Tedeschi (Mum's Word) April 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

Excellent point you make about the magazine article being more potentially damaging than anything Eden has written. Excellent point. Do you reckon they get it?

Love & stuff
Mrs M

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

I wish they got it! I’d like to think it’s a major case of short-sighted greed/strategy rather than wilful carelessness. Why would bloggers ever agree to interviews with this publication again after this sort of treatment?

Kerri Sackville April 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

Great piece. May be slightly hungover reading it this morning after a drink or two last night after a very odd day….. Thank you for recognizing what we all have to offer xxx

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

Thank you Kerri. You were lucky in comparison- just a few more wine-related comments and we’ll have you in AA soon enough. XX

Hannah April 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

Really well said Twitchy,
lotsa oxox

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Twitchy April 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thank you Hannah 🙂

edenland April 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Oh my goodness I LOVE this so much, Twitchy. Am adding it to my post right now, if that’s ok.

THANK YOU. It was a kind of horrible day, today. Took me hours to read all of that article, but I had to know what I needed to defend. I had a feeling that once I wrote a post, I could let it go. The support shown has completely restored my faith in humans. I ADORE bloggers. They really are the best kinds of people.

It’s going to be fascinating, to see “new” media develop the way it is.

XXXX

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Twitchy April 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Is that OK?!? I’d be honoured you gorgeous, beautiful thing. I cannot tell you how much I respect your strength and humility, not only despite the knocks but because of them. Please don’t ever get sick of hearing yourself described as inspiring, ok? XXXXX

Melissa April 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Marry me? You wrote what I tried to write (but should not have taken valium first,lol).

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Twitchy April 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Oh you are gorgeous. Thank you kindly. Took me a while, but I finally got there!

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