“Publicly engaged academic posts are bloggers who derive credibility from their scholarly perspective.”

December 3rd, 2011

Ribstein on Richard Fallon’s article about academics joining scholars briefs.

PEAPs’ significance as a distinct category of amateur journalism is that they connect both with journalism and scholarship. While PEAPs involve the same sort of activity as professional journalism, scholar-journalists gain an advantage over professionals by leveraging their expertise. This has three implications. First, the posts are more informed than other blogs that engage in self-expression. Scholars can draw from their expertise to make immediate and timely posts without engaging in the significant new research that generalist journalists would have to perform. Second, the post is likely to be more disciplined and objective than other selfexpressive blogs because it derives from a body of prior ideas developed without specific public policy objectives. Third, the blogger stakes her scholarly reputation on the post, and therefore has more incentive than other amateurs to carefully support her position. These differences between PEAPs and other forms of amateur journalism relate to the impact PEAPs may have on the nature and quality of professional journalism * * *

PEAPs are bloggers who derive credibility from their scholarly perspective.  This supports standards of academic blogging that are similar to those Fallon suggests for participation in amicus briefs.