Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Blog reform on the way

A month after my review of Enquirer blogs, the powers at the Enquirer announce they're taking a hard look at the stable of bloggers. Some will be sent to the glue factory.
Date: Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 6:26 AM
Subject: Sent to all users from Chris Graves

Blogs, blogging and our next steps

As we have talked about blogs and Pluck and social networks, we are taking a three-phrased approach in the beginning:

We have looked at our current staff blogs and made recommendations to:

1) Keep and improve.

2) Modify them.

3) Stop publishing them.

Most of these conversations have either happened or are in process.

The next phase will be

-- Follow up training sessions with our bloggers to improve blogs, either in tone, structure and/or technical tips. Mandy Jenkins will lead this effort.

And as we settle into the new tools (aka: Pluck) we will continue to:

-- Approve a select few new blogs based on the blog proposal that includes discussions with department heads and section editors. We need to think about who we hope to reach with a new blog. Ultimately, blogs will be approved by a committee of top editors.

-- Blogs will be monitored and assessed with feedback going back to bloggers and section editors as we continue to enhance and tweak our blogs and blogging efforts.

This process, as many things are in these days, will likely change and be modified as we march forward.

Questions? Thoughts? Send them along …

Chris

Pluck is a social networking platform used by media web sites.

Two thoughts:
  • "... as we continue to enhance and tweak our blogs and blogging efforts." I don't know where Graves gets the word "continue" from. Anyone whose been reading the Enquirer's blogs over the past six months would see there hasn't been any monitoring of the blogs at all. It doesn't look like anyone's paying attention at 312 Elm. There are vast differences in style and quality and editing. I hope the Enquirer can find a way to weed out the amateurishness of many of the blogs without snuffing out the personalities.

  • I am very encouraged that new blogs "will be approved by a committee of top editors."

7 Comments:

Anonymous mr. whig said...

Hey Chrissy, here's a thought: wake up. Stop sounding like Kerry Klumpe. Most "blogs" are merely a rehash of stuff people see elsewhere or dull entries about their kids, cars, or diseases. What you're doing is original content. It doesn't dig very deep, sure, and is very inoffensive, but it is original. Why not dump the whole "blogging" thing altogether and just keep the damn site updated? I know, I know: because someone at corporate issued an MBO edict that you guys have to have "blogs" because he heard in 2006 blogs were "the next big thing" and "all the kids were doing it" and even though that's not what you're doing, that's what you call them. And you want your MBO bonus. I mean, you've got more journalists than the TV stations put together. Why do you squander it on such useless crap (as Newsache pointed out last month).

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think that blogs at the Enquirer are one of the few ways a middling reporter can feel good about his/herself without the meddling of editors. Even if the blogs aren't great, I'd imagine that if people were to write blogs they want to write, it may improve their morale.....maybe?

5:02 PM  
Blogger valereee said...

A blog needs a point of view. The problem with most blogs is that they don't have one. Most bloggers are afraid to choose a narrow-enough topic. It's why we see so many blogs called "Mark's Musings" that go on hiatus after ten posts.

Bloggers need a beat, just like any other journalist. Preferably a beat unique within their organization to that blogger.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm encouraged that they are reexamining their blogs. I think it is likely a part of their online redesign process (all of Gannett's websites are being relaunched).

Sounds to me like Mr. Whig is a grumpy old man out of touch with the online world. Blogs can be very useful tools for journalism if done properly - it isn't just a buzzword (it isn't 2002 anymore, bub).

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A month after my review of Enquirer blogs,..."

Oh, yes, I am quite certain Enquirer editors hang on every word of this blog and use it to shape their coverage.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few things:
- top editors approved all the initial blogs.
- many of those blogging asked to blog, they were not told to.
- blogs allow reporters-critics-editors to be personal, expand coverage via links, address things too niche-y for the main paper, use more images (in color, too, isn't that something, color!) and act fast.
- i heard that the notion that conversations "have happened or are in progress" was news to many of the bloggers.

And a question: Who is Kerry Klumpe?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gannett sent a huge report to the publishers and exec editors about a month ago about blogging. Your folks are merely following the suggestions that was in that report.

6:31 PM  

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