Keith Gessen discusses its travails:

Journalism's pitfalls are well known. Bad magazines vulgarize your ideas and literally spray your pages with cologne. Good magazines are even worse: they do style editing, copyediting, query editing, bullet-proofingand as you emerge from the subway with your trash bag of books (a burnt offering to the fact-checker), you suddenly realize that you have landed a $6-an-hour job, featuring heavy lifting.

Yet the biggest pitfall of journalism is not penury but vanity. Your name is in print; it is even, perhaps, in print in the most august possible venue. But you are still serving someone else's idea of their readershipand their idea of you. You are still just doing journalismor, worse, book reviewing. "What lice will do, when they have no more blood to suck," as the 19th century put it.

Hence I blog. It really is quite liberating.

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