Sunday, June 05, 2005

normalising blogging

[Keyword: ]. When journalists blog, they stick pretty close to the traditional role of information provider, according to an article in the latest issue of the Journalism journal (link is to subscription content, but the abstract's free). That shouldn't be news to anyone who reads j-blogs from inside news organisations, but it's a reminder that we're a long way from the we media that so many commentators are waiting for.

Jane Singer found that almost none of the 20 US j-blogs she studied allowed users to post comments. Some regional or local newspaper blogs quoted and referred to their readers' feedback, but the big national media had almost no reader content. She also found that, although postings often had links (an average of 2.3 per post), the overwhelming majority were either to the host news organisation website or to a small number of elite news sites (Washington Post, NY Times, etc). Her conclusion: journalists 'are unwilling to relinquish or even share their gatekeeping role'.

I think she's right on the reason why. Most journalists doing blogs for their news organisations see blogging as a high-tech extension of their existing job rather than as something different. Columnists write blogs like their columns and reporters provide info, with links to the places they always get their news from.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

I like your Weblog and have bookmarked it. I am a former reporter now working as a web editor for the site of a daily newspaper in the U.S. We're one of the rare sites that actually has Weblogs the public can comment on. We've also emphasized our Weblogs on our site. What prompted me to write this post is the idea that the media does not link on blogs to non-elite news sources because of a desire to remain the gatekeeper. No, that's not it. The problem is that while representing the Journal Times brand name, I'm reluctant to link to some small blog that could seem reasonable today and racist/swearing/genocidal or the like the next day.

June 25, 2005 1:53 pm  

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