Good stuff, provided Mecom avoids "labour unrest"...
Time to come off stone

On The Knee-Jerk Journalistic View of Bloggers

Adam over at One Man and his Blog alerted me to this brilliant post by Howard Owens, "Journalists who learn to blog help their online sites grow beyond shovelware".

Adam is particularly taken by these lines:

Most of the bad bloggers tend to gravitate toward current affairs blogging.

Unfortunately, political blogs are also the kind of blogs most journalists tend to read. So a lot of journalists have a very low opinion of blogging.

Those of us more immersed in blogging, or who have grown beyond merely the current affairs bloggers, know that there is more to blogging than rants and raves.

For me, who don't teach journos how to blog, it was these lines that really stood out (foremostly because I had something positive to say about them):

Naive as it might be, I haven’t given up hope. I believe journalists can become good bloggers.
Learning to blog really takes turning one simple switch in your head: This isn’t print journalism.

It isn’t the journalism of your cranky old city editor or your sainted j-school prof. Neither of those old farts would approve of blogging in any form, even though blogging is now part of the legitimate media mix.

Well, never say never: my former tutor at City University, Professor Richard 'Probably-knows-every-journalist-in-the-world' Keeble as my co-presenter so aptly called him, recently invited me to give a talk on blogging at Lincoln University, and the journalist who mentored me when I was at the Daily Express' City section, whom I've never known to be cranky, recently invited me to say a few words about blogging to his staff at CityAM.

I've actually seen the attitudes towards blogging in the media industry change massively for the better in the last year or two, at least in England (not as much as I'd like in Norway yet, but certainly in neighbouring Denmark and Sweden where mainstream media have started to use blogs proactively). And, to give the last word to Howard Owens:

In case it’s not obvious: There are lots of different kinds of blogging. This post might be an example essay blogging (if I were to be that pompous about it). There’s also link blogging, and commentary blogging, and news blogging. The kind of blogging a journalist might do depends on the situation, the purpose and the goals. The purpose of this post is merely to say — get over your objections to blogging and start exploring how you can use it in your newsroom to grow readership...


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