Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

The thesis page

Remember blogging? I wrote a whole monograph about it

In the autumn of 2005 I graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology (now TU Dublin) with a Master’s in journalism. Over the last few months of this MA programme, I researched and wrote a minor dissertation in which I tried to put a new spin on what at the time was an old chestnut (and is now a fossil): blogging versus journalism.

The thesis — Blogosphere of influence: Are weblogs enriching journalism in the new media environment? — was a lot of work, particularly since this is/was a field in which (at the time of writing at least) there was not much in the way of scholarly research available. Two of its case studies were based on news events that happened as I was writing it, one of them within days of the deadline.

Indeed, the last six weeks of the project were so intensive that I couldn’t bare to look at it before I submitted, even though I’d budgeted a few days at the end for proofreading.

But overall, it was a rewarding experience. And I think it’s rewarding for the reader, too. Though an academic project, it was written with the intention of accessibility to anyone with even a passing interest in the subject, or in the general evolution of the media in this fast-changing world.

And boy, does it change fast. I never did post those updates promised at the end of the text, and in the end it didn’t matter that much anyway as within a year of my submitting the monograph, Twitter launched and social media became a thing, the question was obliterated, and now it’s 15 years later and everything is different.

Yet the principles are the same, even if the media have changed. And I think it still stands as a worthy evaluation of where things stood at the time, and where they were pointing in the years ahead. If only I’d known…

Anyway, with all that in mind I invite you to download the full text to read for yourself and make up your own mind.

(Spelling and grammatical errors and omissions are included free of charge.)