Where Do Blogs fit in the Newspaper World?

October 8, 2009

Stimulation for the Eyes: A reunion between old traditional art and new media. Somehow it works, but in the long run it isn’t feasible.

Here is what fancied my attention to write about news blogging and although it lacks the writing content, the pictures tell a story and got me captivated:

This blog is from bostonglobe.com titled, “The Big Picture,” by Alan Taylor.  The post titled, “The Berlin Reunion,” talks and displays images from the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company using gigantic puppetry to tell their story of reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

——

Although today’s post is not specifically on corporate blogging, I’d like to illustrate the effect blogs have on a medium of media they “say” is to go extinct one day: newspapers (I don’t believe that). Newspapers use blogs as another extension of the paper, as if it were an extra column it seems. After reading some blogs from online papers, I find that it is still newsworthy in a personalized way and that the pictures and videos add a lure to the reality of the news. Also there is a release from media writing structure that is looser on a blog. According to 50 Most Popular Newspaper Blogs by Simon Owens in his blog, Bloggasm, he determined the success of each newspaper’s blog and ranked them according to Technorati’s rankings on a scale of popular to least popular. He mentions that The New York Times has 60 blogs while most of the top ten visited newspapers have at least 20 blogs to handle. This shows that there is an external working of journalists working to tell a story and create a tone for their paper.

What does this mean?

Why would a newspaper need a blog to begin with, you might ask? Newspapers have somewhat joined the social media trend by using blogs as an outlet to drive traffic to the paper’s website and even popularity to the print version. Also, newspapers are known to start tweeting headlines catering to those that headline scan. They are utilizing tactics to its advantage but the question still remains will newspapers go extinct?

According to MediaMemo by Peter Kafka, his blog post titled, Hearst Shuts Down Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Replaces it with Website, represents a microcosm of what could happen to the newspaper world. In short, Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer’s paper shut down to move online. What went from 150 staff members moved to 20 after 146 years of serving the people by print. The idea is to see if the online version could profit. However, Kafka doesn’t believe it will profit and nor do I, even based on what we’ve learned about social media. People still need to hold, smell, and touch paper news. And if you go to London, it is pretty much newspaper readers on crack.

Conclusion:

I mention newspaper blogs to illustrate how even struggling papers use social media tools as an outlet even though journalism is already an established media outlet. Their paper is their product. Their publics are their readers. They’ve become smart and tactical by jumping on the bandwagon. Blogs add a more personal touch to the news with multimedia centric values. All in all, the newspaper industry use of blogs is very similar to the way corporate blogging can work. Empower employees to write and create a tone for the company internally/externally.

I want to end on this note. A lot of experts might say that too many pictures in a blog is not recommended. However I sometimes disagree with that notion. It depends on how the pictures are being used. Even if it is a very technical corporate blog people sometimes need a different kind of stimulation to add rhythm to what they’re reading.

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7 Responses to “Where Do Blogs fit in the Newspaper World?”

  1. Jenn Shunfenthal said

    It’s interesting that you say you don’t think the online versions of newspapers will profit. I think Hearst is skeptical part because the staff of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been reduced dramatically and obviously if there are 130 less minds working on a paper, it is going to suffer in some way. However, I think that in the future online newspapers are going to replace print copies. Environmentally, we will be dealing with fewer resources to print hard copies. Economically, it will be cheaper. Sustainability will be easier especially with the public trying to report and the instantaneous reaction of public reporting. I think new guidelines will have to be made to ensure truthfulness though.

    I definitely agree with you that pictures in blogs are necessary and important. Pictures are known to speak a thousand words and while a blog is an outlet to convey an author’s opinion and outlook on life, a picture helps to reinforce the words in a post, give the reader’s eyes a break, and add some fun. People will go to a blog if it is interesting and pictures add interest.

  2. Angeline Vo said

    Yea that is very true about papers being economically cheaper and more sustainable . I love newspapers I would hate to see it go. It’s one of those things that people will disagree with even though the facts are in front of them because if you from 150 staff to 20 what will be the new direction of journalism? PEOPLE WILL BE OUT OF JOBS!

  3. Kate Sutherland said

    I completely agree with you that newspapers will not disappear. I hate when people say that as if tomorrow no one is going to get the paper. I personally love holding the paper, looking at the wedding announcement, and doing the puzzles. I think it’s interesting to think about papers using blogs but I know that many do. Papers today are using all sorts of social media to connect to their audience but they are also still putting out their print versions. Lots of papers are using things like Twitter to link people to their site by projecting the leads.

    • Angeline Vo said

      I also don’t think people realize how many traditional medium users there are still around. Yes social media has great advantages, but newspapers are so archaic in our roots for communication I have trouble fathoming the extinction of the papers.

  4. […] 12, 2009 In my last post, “Where Do Bloggers Fit Into the Newspaper World?,” I wrote about how newspapers have adopted blogs successfully. In today’s post I want to […]

  5. Michelle Goydan said

    I too agree that newspapers will never go away but with the addition of online version the demand may switch. Before the internet version was available people subscribed to have it dropped it off at their door step but now they can subscribe to have it drop into their inbox. I think news papers will forever be in places like coffee shops or library where people often go to detach themselves with media. Now a day’s with free wifi is being offered everywhere and electronics such as iphone offering everything you could need at your finger tips it is hard not rely on it for instance service. But I believe at some point people have to step away from electronics to keep their sanity!

  6. Angeline Vo said

    Do you think that one thing that will hinder this new online way of reading papers is subscriptions to online papers online? Subscribing puts information on the net or for papers to sell information. I think that idea alone will cause trouble for a future switch to online news reading. What’s more annoying, getting an email ad from a advertising vendor that the Wall Street Journal works with or walkign out in your boxers to fetch the paper? I wonder these things myself.

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