Saturday, March 05, 2005

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.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So did you get the Oregonian internship? Or any other internship?
kens@spokesman.com

8:52 AM  
Blogger Scott Maier said...

Interesting comment.
Newspapers, seeking to retain credibility and objectivity, are cautious in what they say and how they say it. Yet such restraint is self-defeating when trying to make a mark in a medium that is free-flowing, opinionated, and, by definition, an alternative voice to the printed page. Perhaps this suggests that newspapers will have a hard time being a player in the blogger realm.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Jennifer M. Bear said...

Wow! Hi, Ken and thank you for posting a comment on my blog. The Oregonian internship is still up in the air. I was interviewed for the position one week ago today and still haven't heard back from George Rede, even though I've checked my voicemail and email religiously. My guess is that they didn't pick me and are just putting off telling me the bad news. In addition, the Oregonian was my only internship prospect, so I'll probably spend next term posting to my blog eight times a day and tearing through the Oregonian with my trusty red pen, cackling gleefully at every typo and error I find. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog, you gave my self-confidence a much-needed boost.

5:22 PM  

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