Posted by: Sam Carson | 8 August, 2007

Newspaper’s Bloggers: Journalists on WordPress?

Media blog Publishing 2.0 looks at the recent attempts by traditional newspapers to create New Media presence though the use of blogs.  The problem is, at what point does a newspaper column end and a blog being?  Is it the WordPress software?

Washington Post’s newly launched hyperlocal site, LoudounExtra.com, is anchored by a strong blogger, and the site maintains a list of local bloggers. Sites like the Houston Chronicle have had a lot of success with setting up high-quality freelance blogs — this is not “citizen journalism” or reader blogging (as the Chronicle calls them — but they’re not readers anymore when they’re writing!) or (even worse) “user-generated content.”

These are freelance journalists, who happen to be doing it in their spare time and who happen to be using blogging software.

The word “blog” has way too much baggage — it’s too often equated with opinion. But a blog is just a content management system, and you can use it to publish shrill opinion, or you can use it to publish traditional journalism…or you can use it to publish journalistic reporting with a bit more point of view.

It seems obvious that traditional media needs restructuring.  Some traditional news media are working hard at the transition, the BBC is a remarkable example of what is possible.  But others are not faring so well, and slapping the blog sticker on traditional opinion column is not engaging to the readers, it’s patronizing.


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