Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is a Newspaper Blog Really a Blog?

I don’t think so. In my mind it’s really another distribution mechanism for news and reporting. Perhaps it’s packaged a little differently with a reality TV spin, but it's still reporting.

Newspapers that claim to offer blog content are really repackaging a soft opinion page. In my opinion ( and that’s worth a grand $.02), this is analogous to a company that places cleverly laid-out advertorial copy in a magazine and tries to pass it off as real editorial. Don‘t get me wrong, I’ve placed an advertorial or two in my day, and know it’s a great marketing mechanism. But it is what it is.

Newspaper blogs also seem to work the blogging system. Just watch any blog roll, and see how many times Washington Express or Washington City Paper end up as one of the the most recently posted blogs. That’s not coincidental folks.

From a PR perspective, I think it’s great. Just another means of hopefully getting exposure for one of my clients.

As a blogger my feelings are mixed. Having been a reporter these newspaper blogs do not offer a real blog experience. If they were real experiences they would tell you how much they hate their editor’s changing the headline, or about the foolish PR person that screwed up a story by providing bad information.

Real blogs talk about the experience of the person doing whatever it is they do. Witness one taxi cab dispatcher: The Blank Top Chronicles is what I consider to be a great blog.

I’d like to see a reporter really blog about their experiences. It would have to be anonymous, but it would certainly be better than the Washington Filibuster (note, a fictitious name) repackage its reporters’ paid-for-content as a “blog.”


Blogger Washington Cube said...

Well put, and I totally agree. Glad you noted Blank Top. He's writing from the trenches.

6:53 PM  

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