In defense of blogging

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

I was honored to have been selected as CPAC’s “blogger of the year” on Saturday.

I’d like to thank CPAC — and everyone who nominated me. And thanks to TheDC for giving me the outlet and support and creative freedom to do this!

Since winning the award, I’ve received a lot of tweets and emails. Most of the feedback has been incredibly positive and supportive. But a few people voiced an interesting opinion that essentially went like this: “Congratulations — but I always envisioned you more as a reporter/journalist than as a blogger.”

I took this as a compliment. But it also gave me pause.

The evolving term “blogger” has, I think, become virtually meaningless, inasmuch as it means different things to different people. The title is too often perceived as being pejorative — a way to describe (or dismiss!) pajama-clad amateurs who post snarky partisan opinions or vapid, self-indulgent, navel-gazing musings all day.

My response: Sure, but what about Chris Cillizza, Ezra Klein, Erik Wemple and Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post? Aren’t they bloggers? Or what about Nate Silver at the New York Times?

My blog, “Matt Lewis & The News” is advertised as a hybrid of opinion, analysis, and inside reporting. I would say that it is both a journalistic pursuit and a blog. The two are not mutually exclusive.

A blogger, in my estimation, is simply someone who sometimes utilizes a blog platform. This might be a professional journalist or a teacher or a high school dropout. What they have in common is the medium, which allows for fast (and often short) online posts, frequently updated, without the bureaucratic burdens of heavy editing.

For some reason, a stigma is associated with this.

Ironically, this might actually speak to the revolutionary impact of blogging. As powerful as Twitter is, I don’t know any professional tweeters. And I don’t know any journalists who fear a tweeter will replace them. If someone described me as a great tweeter, I don’t think I’d be upset — or that anyone would say: “But I thought you were more of a journalist!?”

So I’m happy to be CPAC’s blogger of the year. It may not be the sole way I define myself, but I’m not afraid of the term.

Embrace the blogosphere. Own it.

Matt K. Lewis