Andy Boyle to news sites: Stop differentiating between blogs and articles

“It’s time to stop bifurcating your content as blogs and news because they run on separate systems. It is all content, so why not call it that? Even if you have outside people writing posts on your website that are unmoderated by your staff — that’s still content that’s part of your media outlet’s website. …

“If it’s opinion content, call it that. If it’s news content, great! That’s what it is. Start thinking of it all as content as opposed to ‘this is a blog post’ and ‘this is a news story.’ If you copied a news story and pasted it into a blog post, DOES IT SOMEHOW CHANGE? No. It does not.”

Andy Boyle


Bradshaw: Don’t assume journalists have more training than bloggers in truth-telling

Online Journalism Blog
In a post about whether the blogosphere is less accurate than “proper” journalism, Paul Bradshaw writes that it’s a mistake to assume that professional journalists have more training in truth-telling than bloggers. He argues that people don’t need to be trained to tell the truth:

Journalism training consists, if we’re honest I think, of taking ‘the truth’ – which can be complex, boring, and confusing, and showing how to turn that into a story – simple, interesting (through, for example, focusing on a ‘conflict’, even where that may not be as important as portrayed) and clear.

As journalists we know that the truth is often more complicated than we represent it, so we cannot accuse bloggers of being generically unreliable without acknowledging that our own methods have flaws too.

The opportunity in online journalism – whether by professionals or amateurs – is to better represent that complexity, through linking to more detail (full interviews or raw footage, original documents, complete data) or providing for interactivity (how the story affects their postcode, family, or school; experiencing how a process works).

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ChicagoNow blogger says Tribune journalists ‘stealing’ ideas from blogs without credit

Jenna Myers Karvunidis says the Chicago Tribune and its Red Eye commuter paper seem to be “stealing scoops” from her and other amateur bloggers on the Tribune-owned ChicagoNow site. She cites examples where she or other bloggers wrote about unique topics or ideas, only to have similar pieces appear in the professional publications shortly after with no credit to the blogger. “Is this lazy journalism on the part of traditional media, or the ultimate flattery of bloggers? Or both?” she writes. || Related: New Nielsen data shows millions more blogs and blog readers, led by young moms (Nielsen Wire) | Local community blogs are producing news and civic engagement as news orgs shrink (Guardian) Read more


8 keys to creating, growing blogs within a news website

It’s not easy to craft a strategy for starting and growing blogs on a news website. But it is important. Blogs can be a magnet to attract a loyal audience around the most important subjects, and can improve the whole site around them.

I talked with Megan Liberman, The New York Times’ deputy news editor for blog development, who tangles with these issues every day, to help identify these eight keys to starting the right blogs and growing them harmoniously on a news site.

When to create a blog

Blogs can be about anything, written by anyone. Where do you begin?

There are at least two essential ingredients for a good news website blog. The first one is Voice. You need the right kind of writer.

“Blogging is not [just] reporting… Blogs are not just news feeds. They do have to have more of an identity than that,” Liberman said. Read more

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New Guardian blog puts readers next to editors as stories unfold

You might remember last year that the Guardian tried publishing its story budgets online to invite feedback and tips from readers. Today the UK newspaper takes the next step toward a transparent, “open” newsroom with a daily live blog from the news desk.

Newsdesk Live is not another bloggy account of today’s top stories like Yahoo News’ The Upshot or The New York Times’ The Lede. Newsdesk Live includes the day’s story budget and conversational updates on what Guardian journalists are seeking and learning. The blog invites readers to contribute by posting comments, emailing or tweeting.

Newsdesk Live is a home for top news updates, newsroom process and reader engagement.

This is a noteworthy experiment in both form and function. Readers can quickly gauge the leading stories of the day, how they’re unfolding and what the public might contribute. The result is a pleasant mix of facts, analysis, process and discussion — an illustration of news as a process, not a product. Read more


We’ve seen blogs become less about the instant and more about the Instapaper. A steady rise in popularity for Argo’s highest-trafficked site, MindShift, accompanied its move to less-frequent, longer-form blogging. CommonHealth, another of the network’s most popular sites, has scored some of its biggest audience hits with 4,000-word opuses.

Matt Thompson, on one of the lessons he has learned from managing NPR's Project Argo blogs.


Is tech blogging over, or entering a new golden age?

Web Strategy | Predictably Rabid
Jeremiah Owyang describes four trends that signal the end of the tech blogosphere, including a talent turnover. One of those exiting stars, Sarah Lacy, disagrees with Owyang and argues that the golden age of tech blogging is ahead, not behind us. She writes:

I’m a big believer that tech trends tend to over-promise in the short term but under-promise in the longterm. As Jeremiah points out, the last few years demonstrated some of the limitations of blogging — i.e., we can’t all make businesses and build big audiences, it won’t replace all older forms of media, and it’s a grind that will wear down all but the most intent. In a lot of ways sites like Facebook, Yelp and Twitter have scratched that itch for self-expression by giving the masses an easier and more painless way to get the endorphin rush that blogging gave in the early days.

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Do online readers want short or long form reporting? It depends

Lewis DVorkin shares some insightful audience statistics from two Forbes writers with very different styles — Eric Savitz, a “human newswire” churning out short posts, and Matt Herper, a long-form, infrequent writer. The lesson, he says, is “online news consumers crave both.” The key is understanding the subject and the audience, DVorkin says. Savitz covers daily tech company news by embracing “frequency and timeliness,” while Herper learned that the issues on his pharmaceutical beat were better suited to longer explainers that “take the reader into another world.” The post has charts, and more analysis. (via Jay Rosen) || Earlier: Long-form reporting drops at Wall Street Journal in Murdoch era (Poynter) Read more


Washington Post publisher Weymouth sees new media as ‘them,’ not ‘us’

Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth draws a big, bold line between “old media” like the Post and “new media” such as blogs and citizen journalists.

The Post is embracing the new “tools” of online journalism, but they don’t change who journalists are, what journalism is or how the Post does it, Weymouth said Wednesday as the keynote speaker of the Knight-Batten Awards symposium in Washington, D.C.

Weymouth made several points that advocate a progressive future for the Post. She told the audience of Washington journalists that all Post reporters should use social media to connect with their readers and that innovation is the job of every employee in the company.

The overall tone, however, was more combative toward what she labeled as “new media.” There was much talk about competition, but little about the benefits of collaboration. On some subjects Weymouth expressed views that were conservative or even a little curmudgeonly. Read more


WP hires three bloggers to work with Ezra Klein

Romenesko Memos
They are Suzy Khimm, who leaves Mother Jones; Sarah Kliff, formerly of Politico; and Brad Plumer, a New Republic associate editor. The Post memo is after the jump. Read more


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