Monday, March 12, 2007

'All journalists should blog'

I don't know if I agree with Howard Owens assertion that "all journalists should blog," but I do think all editors should.

You all are, right?

Owens' assertion is straight-forward, and seems right:

The best way to understand blogging is to blog. That’s why I say: All journalists should blog. You can’t get modern media without understanding blogs, and you can’t understand blogs unless you do it.

I started this blog a couple of years ago primarily to learn how – and to make sure our editors learned to deal with blogs, RSS feeds and the like. I don't check on how often or how regularly folks stop by (and you rarely leave comments – have you noticed?) but I do know there's a steady readership, and I've learned some cool tricks like the widget that tracks my whereabouts (plazes) and how to tune Google Reader to generate the "I'm reading ..." list, and how see who's visited lately (the site meter link at the bottom).

Here's an even better reason senior editors should be blogging: an editors' blog is a fabulous way to communicate with readers. The debates, defenses and discussions you've had with readers one-on-one for all these years can now take place in front of thousands. You get feed back, you can reply, the conversation iterates.

I've noticed a couple of excellent blog entries by McClatchy editors lately. I'm sure there are many more (send me links, please), but here are a couple of quite different editor blog posts, from Melanie Sill in Raleigh and Pat Dougherty in Anchorage.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:56 AM

    Blogs are great, but they need to be authentic. I see too many people in the news industry blogging because we! need! blogs! and it's so obviously fake and shallow. Readers see that, and they won't comment or read very often.

    I read your blog because you're passionate about what you believe in, and I'm trying desperately to believe that McClatchy is moving in the right direction despite how it feels to me as an employee (less about moving in a new direction and more about cutting off the nose to spite the face.) The entries make me think, they make me angry, they make me question why the words here don't match the actions I see daily, but I always come back to it because there is a passion here.

    The best blogs come about because someone has something to say that's worth reading, not because s/he is trying to draw readers to the blog. Many of the people at my paper have been pushed to write blogs, and most of them fail to draw a single comment, or even continue on a regular basis, because there is no passion, and the only purpose is "we have to blog." A blog isn't something one should do just to look hip or seem relevant. I often wish I could send to people who think "all journalists should blog." Frankly, most of them shouldn't.

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  2. Anonymous10:05 AM

    I'm going to echo the above poster... bit with one minor change:

    I read your blog because you are passionate about what I believe in, and I'm trying desperately to believe that McClatchy is moving in the right direction despite how it feels to me as an employee. The entries make me think, they make me angry, they make me question why the words here don't match the actions I see daily, but I always come back to it because there is a passion here.

    -30-

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  3. Anon, keep believing in McClatchy. I do. I believe in my own company, too. And I believe in Scripps and I like what Morris is doing, but I believe McClatchy is headed in the right direction.

    Thanks for the link, Howard. "All journalists should blog," frankly, is a dramatic overstatement to make a point.

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  4. I'm grateful for the feedback from the anonymous posters (you, too, Howard). If I can be more directly responsive about soecifics, I am happy to hear from you any time -- anonymously or otherwise.

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