Wednesday, 28 January 2009

How blogging changes journalists

A survey of 200 journalists who are bloggers by Paul Bradshaw, a senior lecturer in online journalism and magazines at Birmingham City University’s School of Media, is now available in a new article on the latest edition of Nieman Reports.
Bradshaw writes: "From journalistic pariah to savior of the news industry, blogs have undergone an enormous transformation in recent years. As a journalist and a blogger, I was curious to see how this transformation from blogophobia to blogophilia was affecting journalism.
"Blogging is changing journalism—at least for those journalists who blog. But alongside this conclusion resides a collection of more interesting findings."
They include: "Cutting Out the Middlemen. In generating story ideas, blogging journalists don’t need someone to tell them who the readers are and what they want: They already know, because the readers are on their blogs, telling them who they are and what they’re curious about.
"In this new blogging relationship, editors are the middlemen being cut out. The role of official sources—such as public relations spokespeople and firms—were also being diminished, as sources for stories broadened.
"Story leads now come through the comments or through private communication initiated via the blog. And once they are pursuing a story, some journalists use the blog to “put the call out” for information and sources—and rely on the transparency of their reporting process to push official sources to reply."
Bradshaw says: "A third of the respondents only started to blog in the past year, so my suspicion is that there remains room for more change. Clearly, we are only at the beginning, as the news industry faces one of the most significant transformations in its history."

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