Kevin Anderson, blog editor at the super-blog-happy Guardian newspaper across the pond, writes:
“Newspaper publishers and broadcasters often fall into the trap of trying to understand new media behaviour through old media paradigms. Podcasting becomes another distribution channel, and blogging becomes another publishing platform. Adding comments to the bottom of stories or columns is a step, but it’s missing the point. It’s treating blogging strictly as a publishing tool, not as part of a broader community strategy.”
A newspaper blog doesn’t need to be “another distribution channel,” where reporters’ leftovers come to roost, but it can be difficult to introduce the concept of “engagement” to a newsroom accustomed to one-way communication with the public.
I see remainder-blogging and column-with-comments approaches as a good first step to let a newsroom dip a toe in the hot bloggy water, and for some college papers, a blog platform can be a distribution channel over the weekends, to post the football scores or break news in between daily publishing cycles.
Steve Yelvington says “The Web is not just another edition,” then goes on to relay the mantra your online staff should be chanting: “Timely. Useful. Interactive. Entertaining.”
Ah, now we’re on to something. The Web isn’t your delivery truck, it’s a completely different medium. So put down those shovels and pick up some pixels. Let’s get to work.
Ready to get practical? Check out Mindy McAdams on Teamwork, Part 5 in her primer on Making Online Journalism. Then, start picking teams.