Sunday, August 12, 2007

Professional blogs

The mainstream media has now firmly embraced blogs as a way of extending their content—and making it more relevant to modern, web-connected readers. Virtually every newspaper that has any pretence of being serious now has one or more official blogs written by their journalists or columnists.

Personally, I think that’s a great thing, but maybe not for the reason the newspapers might hope. By reading these professional blogs, I can get a glimpse of the way the journalist really thinks, like their biases, their political viewpoint—the sorts of things that most journalists try to mask.

A case in point is the New Zealand Herald’s Audrey Young, who I’ve quoted in my own blog. Reading her articles, I thought she was right of centre, and from reading her blog, I’ve become convinced of it. But, I couldn’t care less. At least now I feel I know where she’s coming from, whether I agree with her or not (mostly not).

Whether or not I agree with her viewpoint generally, I think she was correct when she wrote in her blog for today,

It’s odd how so many people have issues about me writing a blog but few acknowledge the hard work that still goes into the newspaper. I firmly believe they can complement each other.

They absolutely can compliment each other, as well as add to the greater public debate. I hope newspapers don’t give up on their support for blogs because most journalists seem to feel freer to say things in a blog than they would even in a column. Given that many (but not all) journalists are better informed than the public in general is, that has to be a good thing.

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