Journalism Embedded in Amazon.com?

March 8, 2007 at 9:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Amazon.com is obviously an extremely popular and overall reliable website. Everyone ends up using it at some point or another, just make sure you avoid anything that isn’t a book, because it’s usually a cheap rip-off. What i’ve always loved about the site is the user reviews of graphic novels that the product pages host, because they give you some idea of whether the book you might buy is absolute rubbish or not. It has, in the past, given me just enough extra incentive to go ahead and try something new like Grant Morrison’s Filth, of which i am like one of around six fans.

Scott presented us with the question of if such reviews qualify as journalism, and i’m stuck on the fence about it. I hate the idea of slapping the label of journalism on something that was written by some @$$hole with a GED, a notebook and too much time on his hands. It cheapens what a ton of people spend massive amounts of time, money and energy to attain in a true, professional sense.

I guess i’s rather liken such reviews to citizen journalism, but in a grassroots kind of way, because it certainly isn’t real journalism just because it’s a structured review. I mean, i posted a review for the latest issue of 100 Bullets on The Engine, and while i do try to take myself seriously as a writer, i’m not about to print it out and show it to Wizard magazine as an example of entertainment journalism.

A review like this one is somewhat helpful because it’s positive, but take a look at the quality of the post. Should i trust someone who doesnt spellcheck his posts? Could he have brain damage? Hell, i do love Joe Kelly overall, but this is not enough to make me want the second volume of what was a poorly drawn piece o’ clap.

This on the other hand is a great review for a distinctly Christian author that lots of readers avoid altogether. He addresses his overtly Christian messages, and instead of seeing them as gospel, he mentions them as a quirk of his writing and nothing more. I hate christianity to my core, but i do enjoy a Doug TenNaple book from time to time. This guy did a great review and i may just pick the book up after all.

But keep in mind: those Amazon reviews are unedited, full of errors regarding the books they write about and are often on the writer’s dick so hard that they’d give a good review to a coffee table book full of pictures of various head wounds the writer acquired while drinking. Actually…..that might be rather good…

My point is, it’s not so simple to classify something as journalism. It needs to have a sense of officiality, of tact and of professionalism. So maybe there are a few reviews on Amazon that match up to what could be called “journalism quality,” but the vast majority of such articles are bush-league geek rants. With that said, if people want to really reach for journalism, get your own blog and start building some credentials. Otherwise, you’re just another hack.

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2 Comments

  1. Miriam Anzovin said,

    There now, just look at how many people you may have insulted in the above post! There are, ahem, people with GED’s, Christians, and people who review books on Amazon. i know that you “hate christianity to your core,” but lets spin it a different way: if Christianity actually was as it is portrayed in TenNaple’s work, wouldn’t you like it better? For him faith in Christianity is clearly is the motivation and reaccuring focus of his graphic novels, so I think his work gives an interesting, refreshing, and frankly very sympathetic view of serious Christians who are devout AND draw awesome comics.
    As for people with GED’s, we are actually a hightly articulate bunch with an unorthodox view of the world and fiercely independent concept of higher education, that’s all.
    BUT, you are perfectly correct about people who write Amazon reviews!!

  2. emoboy said,

    Cheers, My pics of my new emo hairstyle
    on http://xrl.us/ouog2

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