RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Jun 13, 2008

I’ve been struggling with the journalist-versus-blogger debate for quite a while. To me, blogging isn’t a threat to journalists. Rather, blogging augments journalism.

It all came together for me at the PRSA’s Digital Impact Conference this past week, when Richard Wilner, Sunday Business Editor for the New York Post said, “I’ve never written a story about the 8000 banks that weren’t robbed today.”

Fascinating. A journalist will test a topic against the following question: “Is it news or not-news?”

One man’s news is another man’s pleasure.
One man’s pleasure is another man’s snooze.

It makes sense. Journalists cover stories considered new, noteworthy, or different.

Compare and contrast that with bloggers, who are passionate about not-news. Using Richard’s example, there are bankers, bank employees and bank customers who are ecstatic that their banks weren’t robbed today, as well as other banking-related stories such as:

  • newlyweds who bought there first home
  • customers who started a home-based business
  • children who opened their first savings account

Although none of these stories are newsworthy, they are all blogworthy.

Corporate blogging is about “not-news,” content that doesn’t meet the news-needs of a general audience. And it’s through publishing these stories that businesses can distinguish themselves from their competition.

Bloggers and journalists can coexist peacefully because they cover totally different things.

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Filed under: Content Development

Comments

It actually goes beyond that. There are only 24 hours in a day and only so many people in any given news room. Certain things MUST be covered like city council meetings, financial issues, crime, etc. but looking beyond the absolute musts the journalist has to decide, “out of all the phone calls, emails, and news releases I’ve received today, what is the most important to the largest number of readers.”

So time, manpower and the size of the potential audience are huge factors in the determination of news.

Bloggers, on the other hand, have different filters. Actually, only one. “What do I care about today?” Bloggers are self-promotional and self interested. The fact that a lot of people read a certain blogger’s site is inconsequential to the decision to write about something. The numbers are only a gauge of whether the blogger can make money on advertising and a way to boost his ego.

Now is that true of every blogger? No, of course not. I would say that describes about 99.999 per cent of all bloggers, though.

Should journalist consider bloggers a threat? Yes and no. No, because the bloggers are probably not going to cover a story the way a journalist would, i.e. with objectivity, so the authority of the blogger would be questioned. But, yes in that blogs are competing with newspapers for advertising and sucking revenue away from newspapers, which will cause them to fail.

If the current model continues, all we will have is Google and blogs for our information… and Google will only have blogs and press releases to disseminate.

Lou covey
June 13, 2008

It actually goes beyond that. There are only 24 hours in a day and only so many people in any given news room. Certain things MUST be covered like city council meetings, financial issues, crime, etc. but looking beyond the absolute musts the journalist has to decide, “out of all the phone calls, emails, and news releases I’ve received today, what is the most important to the largest number of readers.”

So time, manpower and the size of the potential audience are huge factors in the determination of news.

Bloggers, on the other hand, have different filters. Actually, only one. “What do I care about today?” Bloggers are self-promotional and self interested. The fact that a lot of people read a certain blogger’s site is inconsequential to the decision to write about something. The numbers are only a gauge of whether the blogger can make money on advertising and a way to boost his ego.

Now is that true of every blogger? No, of course not. I would say that describes about 99.999 per cent of all bloggers, though.

Should journalist consider bloggers a threat? Yes and no. No, because the bloggers are probably not going to cover a story the way a journalist would, i.e. with objectivity, so the authority of the blogger would be questioned. But, yes in that blogs are competing with newspapers for advertising and sucking revenue away from newspapers, which will cause them to fail.

If the current model continues, all we will have is Google and blogs for our information… and Google will only have blogs and press releases to disseminate.

Lou covey
June 13, 2008

While you were on the right coast presenting to the PRSA, the bloggers and journalists were facing off on the left coast at DAC in the EDA Bloggers Birds-of-a-Feather Session. Deja Vu…

– what is a blogger?
– are bloggers journalists?
– are bloggers objective?
– is a blog an article or a column?
– are bloggers a threat to journalism?
– and from the PR folks, “if I want to send you a press release, how do I do it”?

John Ford put it best in his DFT Digest Blog, “it felt like a bunch of dogs getting to know each other … independent EDA bloggers just had their collective butts sniffed by journalists and PR/marketing folk”.

Bloggers are being evaluated by the journalists according to their pre-existing categories. But, the paradigm has shifted and the journalists still think the world is flat. They need to get themselves a compass.

harry the ASIC guy
June 13, 2008

While you were on the right coast presenting to the PRSA, the bloggers and journalists were facing off on the left coast at DAC in the EDA Bloggers Birds-of-a-Feather Session. Deja Vu…

– what is a blogger?
– are bloggers journalists?
– are bloggers objective?
– is a blog an article or a column?
– are bloggers a threat to journalism?
– and from the PR folks, “if I want to send you a press release, how do I do it”?

John Ford put it best in his DFT Digest Blog, “it felt like a bunch of dogs getting to know each other … independent EDA bloggers just had their collective butts sniffed by journalists and PR/marketing folk”.

Bloggers are being evaluated by the journalists according to their pre-existing categories. But, the paradigm has shifted and the journalists still think the world is flat. They need to get themselves a compass.

harry the ASIC guy
June 13, 2008

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