7 Reasons Journalists Should Blog

New media companies like Google aren’t resting on their laurels:

“Google Inc. has accelerated its efforts to sell advertising for magazines and newspapers while continuing to gear up for potentially lucrative opportunities in broadcasting and mobile devices, Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said Thursday.”

The company is also looking at revamping its many products in order to:

“…sculpt its hodgepodge of technology products into a more cohesive unit revolving around its search engine.”

Just goes to show, even young companies who seem to have a lock on the market are constantly looking at themselves from every angle to find ways to improve. I am not much of a sports guy, but I am fascinated with Tiger Woods in the same way: he constantly looks for ways to improve his game, or completely overhaul his swing. Being ‘great’ means that you constantly have to look at yourself with new eyes.

For an industry like publishing, which prides itself on the success of its history, this has proven to be a stumbling block. Whether it be the internet, or anything else, taking off the frosted glasses to give a good hard look at themselves seems to come after an arduous bout of hard times.

Some holdouts are beginning to come around. Josh Quittner, editor of Business 2.0 magazine has:

“…charged every journalist at Business 2.0 with creating a blog…”

His model will keep the regular reporting as “journalism” and the blogs as, well, blogs. So one author becomes two haves of a single brain. He states 7 benefits to his approach:

  1. Allows smarter and more engaged reporters
  2. Adding a requirement of 1-2 posts on business per day ensures continually updated content
  3. Offers more ad revenue opportunities across multiple sites
  4. Has CNN articles pointing directly to journalist blogs, offering reporters a personal stake and individual traffic
  5. Preserves the church and state separation issue of editorial versus journalism
  6. Releasing some editorial control offers faster turnaround and more cutting edge work
  7. Offering an edited “uber-blog” allows Business 2.0 to pull out the best content and feature it consistently

The model offers some unique points, but I am concerned about the idea that 100% of reporters must now blog. Some people just don’t enjoy the blogging mentality. This doesn’t mean they don’t “get it,” but it just may not work for them.

Joe Wikert compares the difference between people who choose to bloggers (who I will call “bloggers”) and people who are forced to blog (which I will call “unhappy people”). With a requirement to make 1-2 posts per day at Business 2.0, Joe reflects on his own experience as a blogger:

“… there are plenty of days when I have nothing to say though, so I don’t post at all.”

Todd Defren looks at the potential issues that a system like this may create:

“You can’t tell a blogger — even a salaried journo-blogger — that you are only interested in opinions that don’t impact your brand: by encouraging their blogging, you are tacitly relinquishing control of your brand.”

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