Journalist Blogger

Friday, December 30, 2005

Blog shakes up Trader Joes

Here's another example of an overlooked great MSM blog story.

My Dayton Daily News colleague Mark Fisher began writing on his excellent wine blog in early December about inconsistent wines he found on the shelves at Trader Joe's. Well on Dec. 15, Trader Joe's pulled the wine in question off its shelves nationwide as a direct result of Mark's blogging.

I thought that was pretty good example of the impact MSM blogs can have. So the next day I sent it in to Romenesko and ... well, nothing.

But to be fair, the DDN had already made it into the Romenesko blog that day with the ape that ate our front page.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Big industry news?

I'm a huge fan, a daily visitor, to Jim Romenesko's blog at the Poynter Institute, a daily compilation of journalism news and gossip. And not too long ago, I thought I had something for him.

On Nov. 1, I sent a an email suggesting a link to my blog posting about how two mainstream media blogs in one week accomplishing a first by hosting a blog carnival. Now, it's not Deepthroat revealed or anything, but given the growth of MSM blogging I thought it was important enough to earn a mention on profession's unofficial bulletin board.

But no dice, My Romenesko suggestion didn't make the cut.

It's OK. I think a lot of us out in the MSM just don't get blogging. A milestones in MSM blogging, I suppose, doesn't sound like much. Besides, there are a lot of other big industry news going on all the time that overshadows blogs.

I mean, here are some of the headlines that were linked on Romenesko that day:

  • Packers coach hates it when phones ring at press sessions

  • Rooney recalls when newsgathering was a big deal at CBS

  • No one gets far in the British media world by being mousy
  • Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    Blogs as source documents

    The Greensboro News-Record in North Carolina is one of the few papers in the nation that really understands blogging. The paper has more than a dozen staff written blogs, including my pal and fellow eduction writer/blogger Bruce Buchanan.

    I saw on the Romenesko blog that the News-Record was getting some heat for reporting details from personal blogs in the sensational case of a soldier who was killed upon a return from Iraq in a conspiracy involving his wife, her young boyfriend and another man.

    I'm not surprised that a smart paper like the News-Record thought to look for blogs and it was an amazing break for them that nearly everyone involved in this case had one. It's interesting that some readers were uncomfortable with the newspaper using these "private thoughts" as a source for reporting.

    There is no doubt for me that the paper did the right thing. The blogs shed a lot of light on what was going on there. Nobody would complain if one of these people had spilled their guts in an interview to a News-Record reporter. Well in a way, each of them instead gave an intimate interview to the whole world through their blogs.

    Kudos to the News-Record for their good work.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2005

    Is there money in blogging?

    A top editor at my newspaper told a colleague this the other day:

    "Nobody's every going to make any money blogging. Most who try it won't be able to sustain it for more than a couple of months."

    At a time when newspapers should be embracing the Internet, it's amazing how many people still think blogging is nothing more than a flash in the pan. But that is wrong.

    People are, of course, making money RIGHT NOW by blogging! There's a guy right here in our readership area named John Scalzi who conrtibutes occassional features for our Lifestyle section and who is paid to blog for American Online. And there are whole businesses being built around corporate blogging. There's a guy named Wayne Hurlbert who writes a blog called Blog Business World that gives advice for how to build a blog-based business.

    Blogging, in some form, is going to endure and its going to be an important tool for journalists -- maybe not every journalists, but many. More journalists should be trying it, learning about it and experimenting with the online form.

    Our industry is busy trying to attract more "light readers." Where have our readers gone? Many of them have gone, and are going, to the Net. We need to be there with interesting content and connect them back to our websites and print products if we want to endure. And yet, too many times we flat ignore the Internet when building survival strategies for the future.

    Well let me say this -- no company has ever survived by sticking with the old way of doing things in the face of competitive pressure form new technology.

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    A place to talk about blogs and journalism

    Hello, I'm Scott Elliott, the education reporter, and education blogger, at the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio. Please visit Get on the Bus, my education blog.

    I'm launching this blog today as a place to discuss journalism and blogging. Journalists blogging is a growing trend in the business, one I think down the line may play a big role in the future of newspapers as they are forced to migrate, like it or not, to a more Internet-based presence.

    Being a Mainstream Media jouranlist and a blogger is still rare enough today that I am often asked questions about my views on online journalism. I'm also frequently confronted by naysayers to believe journalism blogging is a just a flash-in-the-pan fad, or a dangerous idea that could destroy the business.

    So I wanted a place to write about these issues and allow others to weigh in. And I hope down the line to use this venue to organize journalist bloggers and help us find ways to connect to each other and see what others are doing out here in the blogosphere.