Blogging and Journalism: Short History, and a Case for Change


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This is part of a presentation I gave at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in July 2007 as part of the Summer Fellowship for Young Journalists.

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Blogging and Journalism: Short History, and a Case for Change

  1. what’s a blog?
  2. history
  3. before the internets
  4. (tubes!)
  5. we had reporters who wrote for newspapers
  6. an editor would assign stuff like photos and sidebars
  7. it would all get edited, laid out on a page, and printed on paper
  8. like this:
  10. and it was good.
  11. but then they made the internets
  12. so we changed stuff
  14. and that wasn’t bad, at first
  15. but the content was … printy.
  16. and people started to like talking to each other online
  17. but they couldn’t talk to us
  18. so they went someplace else to talk
  19. chatrooms. listservs. blogs.
  20. so the bosses said - HEY!
  21. ‘ come back! we got news!’
  22. so they added blogs. and audio. and video. and community-produced content.
  23. and it was good …
  24. But how was it supposed to work?
  26. Where there multiple blogs?
  28. who edited them?
  30. and wait … didn’t the print people need help blogging to begin with?
  32. whew…..
  33. Let’s step back.
  34. what’s good about blogs? • conversational • regular updates • links to more material • discussion in comments • niche/relevant topics • easy to create/edit • plays well with other technologies
  35. can’t newspapers do that?
  36. without … • losing reporting credibility • creating stupid workflows • abusing overworked writers • being afraid of our audience
  37. Maybe it’s time to try something new.
  38. Laura Fries • web director, association of alternative newsweeklies presentation given at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, June 2007