Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

NYU is tracking newspaper bloggers

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 10, 2006

A very good resource for watching what is going on in newspapers and their struggle to come to terms with blogging is BluePlateSpecial.net, put together by Jay Rosen and his students at NYU.

I was at NYU last September at the Impact '05 conference. I was on a panel alongside Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's political strategist . Since then, the work being done at NYU by its journalism school has been popping up regularly on my radar screen. For example, the excellent IWantMedia is put together by Patrick Philips, an adjunct professor at NYU.

Facts About the State of Blogging at America's 100 Biggest Newspapers

Blue Plate Special combed through the 100 largest sites. The results show who's blogging, who's not, and which newsrooms are doing what. Look up your newspaper, and compare. (And please: help us fact check this chart!)
By Trisha Chang, Kat Ocampo, Kaitlin Jessing-Butz
Alexis Krase, Toli Galanis and Sara Williams

. . .

Also, notable on the site is Renee Alfuso's article on journalists who blog, and how obsessive it can become. She interviewed the Philadelphia Inquirer's full-time journalist blogger Daniel Rubin, a 25 year newsroom veteran and George K. Polk award winner.

But talk to him today: Rubin doesn’t believe in objectivity, hears the Net calling to him at all hours of the day, and craves the freedom to talk about whatever the hell he wants to talk about—unfettered, unedited. Yup, he’s a blogger.

And I can really identify with Rubin when he is quoted saying the following:

“It’s a great confidence builder knowing you can do it,” he explains. “It causes you to be really at the top of your game, as fast as you’re working to be aware of not getting it wrong and still pushing it as hard as you can. Not being too conservative, too cautious, and that takes a lot of concentrating.”

and. . .

“It’s all-consuming. To do it right takes everything I have.

Here is the full article... http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/blueplate/issue1/rubin_reporter/

. . .

Also worth reading is a post from the future : the article by Ed Cone, set in 2012 ...here is an extract:

It’s hard to believe, looking back, but there was once considerable resistance to blogging within newspapers. In fact, it persisted well into the last decade.

As late as 2007, many papers were only dabbling with blogs – if they were using them at all. Even as the Internet was blowing up the ancient newspaper business model by unbundling advertising from editorial, a lot of editors and writers disdained blogs and bloggers as faddish and frightening and somehow unclean.

Some of this resistance stemmed from a misunderstanding of what blogs actually are: a drop-dead simple publishing platform that allows any user to post text, images, audio, and video onto the web without much technical know-how or support.

One possible reason for the confusion over blogs was the hype about “citizens media” and the avalanche of adversarial rhetoric aimed at the professional press by noisy amateurs, which perhaps caused journalists to confuse the tools with some of the tools using them. And there was also an aversion by underpaid staffers to doing what they perceived as more work – writing online in addition to print — for the same meager wage.

The rest is here...

Newspaper Blogging 2012: A Look Back at the Early Days

My only comment is that blogging won't save newspapers but it will improve them. The newspaper business model is being disrupted by online marketing, largely by search engine marketing and not the blogosphere. To disrupt an industry you have to disrupt its business model and that is being done by Google, Yahoo, Craigslist etc.

Please see SVW: The disruption of PR by blogging.

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