May 24, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Amateurism is not (quite) the point

There's a big exhibit at the Gallery of New South Wales for the Archibald Prize, a major annual award for the best Australian portrait. It's been awarded for eons, it was once the subject of a famous lawsuit, and it's spawned a number of additional awards -- the Wynne Prize for landscapes, the Sulman Prize, and the Australian Photographic Portrait Prize.

One of the finalists for the photography prize, Kelley Munce, wrote that she used a Kodak point-and-shoot but that she just bought an EOS 20D and hopes to have a business up and running soon. So, she's not an amateur. But she's also not a pro, in the sense that she's using tools that amateurs normally use and she's not writing artist statements in the voice professionals normally adopt.

The point isn't whether bloggers are amateurs or whether journalists are pros. (Journalism is not a profession, incidentally. Rupert Murdoch hires you to write for one of his papers, >poof< you're a journalist. Rupert Murdoch can't make you a physician or admit you to the bar.)

Amateurism is not (quite) the point