Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Blogging on for Fun and Web Hits

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Blogging on for Fun and Web Hits

Article excerpt

An alternative to the usual 'crap'

If your newspaper doesn't publish a Web log today, it likely will in the coming years. Also known as "blogs," Web logs are a free-form type of online journal, with frequent updates and links to other Web sites. Their popularity leads some to believe blogs will have a long-term impact on traditional journalism.

"I feel a little bit like the Pied Piper of blogging," said Ken Sands, managing editor of online and new media at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. His site ran its first blog nearly two years ago.

Now, as the sole online representative on the Associated Press Managing Editors board, Sands is urging other papers to follow suit. "I think that in the future," he declared, "you will see that either: 1. Everyone starts blogging; or, 2. They will blog, but call it something else."

Sands' site runs blogs tied to specific events, and has launched ongoing "reporter's notebook" blogs. "The first one, by our movie and book critic, Dan Webster, has attracted quite a following -- he regularly gets 400-500 visits a day," Sands said. "That's a lot for us." (To peruse the paper's blogs, visit www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/.)

Getting in touch with readers is the reason the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News recently launched DMN Daily (www.dallasnews.com/opinion/blog). "It demystifies the process," said Ruben Navarrette, an editorial board member. "It invites readers to peek behind the curtain and get a glimpse into how editorial writers form their opinions, interact, and reconcile different points of views. …

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