"Blogging is more real than journalism." I heard this quote just recently. To be honest, I hear this a lot.
As a person with a journalism background, it sort of rankles me. As a blogger, I really don’t know that I would classify my writings as "journalism". Have I done things that could end up in a local paper? Well sure. Though I will admit that since my blog is MINE, I definitely add my own flavour to it which I wouldn’t do for a piece for the local newspaper.
Unless it was op-ed. Which, interestingly, I was never keen on writing. I know. Strange to think about since I… well… blog. And blogs, by their very nature, tend to be opinionated.
I’m just saying.
The reason I have blogging and journalism running through my head though comes from a discussion with a long time friend who happens to also work for a paper. The paper requires her to maintain blogs. The unfortunate reality is that the newspaper world is struggling so they have no way to truly work towards making their ideas fruitful. Basically it boils down to far too many papers slashing staff and then asking for more duties. "Hey, you are sticking around! Write for the paper AND maintain a blog with skads of viewers! Because really? You didn’t WANT a life, right?"
I don’t think that it is meant to be that way, but let’s face it. That’s the cold hard reality. Even if it isn’t presented that way.
So how do journalists promote their blogs? After all there’s definitely a difference between bloggers and newspaper blogs. Right? I suppose it depends on the paper.
Straight up bloggers have so many resources. That said, they have to work hard to get their readership up. A newspaper, used to people paying for their product, think in big numbers. Numbers that your average blogger would blink and cry at. Sure, Perez Hilton has about eleventy hundred viewers a day… but Perez Hilton is NOT like the rest of us. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I digress.
How can a newspaper blogger get "guest bloggers" or "guest blog" themselves? What about joining sites like Networked Blogs or Google Friend Connect? There are several blogosphere promotional avenues of this sort that definitely help me drive people to my blogs (well not here on LJ where I cannot put the JS on the page, but that’s an argument for another time), but somehow I don’t see the Wall Street Journal doing this. Of course they are the WSJ and a household name. But what about Mapelwood Daily Gazette? (Hey snazzy right? Totally made that puppy up!) I still don’t see it happening. I just don’t see good old MDG there doing a "blog hop" or a giveaway either. And don’t get me started on a Meme.
I do think social networking might help. It wouldn’t be hard to tweet a link or even make a Facebook fan page. I actually have my local paper on my Facebook. I know several of the local paper bloggers get their entries posted by me to both Twitter and Facebook. Heck, half the news I read comes from Twitter links. Easy.
I suppose, really, my musings come from my own curiosity towards my readership and the journalist in me. There is no denying that the blogosphere has changed the face of news. It has definitely changed the way people GET the news. I’m not so sure I’m ready to rely solely on bloggers, but that could be my own journalist snobbery questioning the reliability of blogging.
Anyone out there have thoughts as to newspaper blogs vs non newspaper blogs? What about traffic ideas in regards to the two? Just food for thought on a crazy Friday…from someone who probably just has too much time on her hands since she’s reflecting on her old life vs her new life…