Blogs and newspapers taking on each other’s characteristics
March 22, 2010 | 10:15 am
Here is a pair of articles about electronic journalism that talk about how the print and e-journalism traditions are converging.
A Newspaper Turns into Blogs
First, James Rainey at the Los Angeles Times has a story about a newspaper that has turned into a blog. One year ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer entirely shut down its print edition, laid off most of its staff, and made a transition to on-line content only.
Now the Post-Intelligencer has become a site where reporters and citizen-journalists alike can blog about local news and other things that are important to them with a lot more editorial freedom than when it was a print paper. Though the site still is not profitable, Manager Pat Balles says the site is “on track” to profitability—whereas in its print form it was losing $14 million per year.
Some find this new form of journalism exciting, but others are not so sure.
David Brewster, who founded and ran the alternative Seattle Weekly and now heads [non-profit community journalism site] Crosscut.com, said he finds some PI stories provocative. But the tangle of information overwhelms him.
"I am slashing my way through this jungle and occasionally finding good stuff," Brewster said, "and I think that is a mistake."
Blogs Become Like Newspapers
Subsequently, Ravi Somaiya on Gawker writes that blogs are becoming more like newspapers. Formerly, blogs were primarily opinion pieces with relatively little accountability, and it did not matter particularly when stories were linked.
Now, a lot of blogs are competing with newspapers to break stories as quickly as possible, with concise headlines, good photos, and strong fact-checking, so that their links get reposted over the social networks and bring in traffic.
Of course, there are still plenty of opinion blogs out there, but it is interesting to watch the evolution of e-journalism to become more like what p-journalism has been. It’s as if form dictates function—anything that imitates the form naturally evolves to fit the same function.
In any event, both these stories are examples of how the face of on-line journalism is changing. What it will look like in a year or two is uncertain—but it will be interesting to find out.