A Brief Review of Blogging Done By the Big Boys
Blogs written by members of the professional news media, at least the ones I read on cyberjournalist.net, seemed bland when compared to blogs written by people not affiliated with a news organization. Blogs by citizen journalists seemed fresher and more interesting, possibly because they are written by people who only owe allegiance to themselves and to speaking their minds.
The situation with journalist bloggers is different. Most professional news organizations are ultra-sensative about the appearance of bias in their reporters, and this was true even before the Internet and opinion blogging. News outlets would often institute house rules outlawing the display of campaign stickers and prohibiting reporters from appearing at or participating in public partisan gatherings (ex. pro-choice rallies). So it's no surprise that many papers have adopted new rules to deal with reporters who broadcast their opinions through blogging. For example, CNN pressured correspondent Kevin Sites to shut down his blog from Iraq, Time forced freelancer Joshua Kucera to terminate his personal blog, and the Hartford Courant pressured Denis Horgan, one of its columnists, to stop blogging.
Those journalists who blog with the approval of their papers usually avoid stating their opinions. Many of the professional blogs I looked at were devoted to a single lifestyle-related topic such as movies, music, television, sports, etc. For example, The Spokesman-Review has 22 blogs and only three of those are ones I would consider newsy with the opportunity to be opinionated.
I don't plan on becoming a regular reader of these professionally-written blogs. I prefer reading a blogger who lets it all hang out and isn't afraid to tell the world exactly what he/she thinks.