Blogging Can Lead To Flogging

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Posted July 5, 2010 by Jeff Prince in Blotch

There’s nothing like getting up early and driving to work to celebrate the Independence Day weekend.

Yay Independence!

We have three writers and an editor here today. We’ve got a cover story to get ready for Wednesday’s paper.  No time to rest. That’s how much we care about you, dear reader.

Another beast to feed is Blotch. You might not consider blogging as work, but it isn’t easy to be glib, funny, interesting, and provocative on a consistent basis without getting in trouble.

As news writers, we’re not supposed to be opinionated when we write news articles. Blogging is a whole ‘nother animal. If we’re not creative, funny, and pointed, then we’re boring. If we’re too snarky, we’re pummeled. If we go overboard, the sharks circle.

Things in print seems much worse than hearing Jon Stewart say something outrageous. On TV, it’s said and gone in three seconds. Online and print statements are forever.

And any ill-advised comment can be a career killer. Longtime Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow blogged a week ago and made light of sexual molestation. He’s been criticized and encouraged to resign by a number of camps.

D Magazine’s Tim Rogers blogged on FrontBurner about the tightrope that local journalists are walking:

“I’ve got empathy for Blow when it comes to the pickle he’s gotten himself into. I am in no way defending the joke he made. But anyone who works at a media outlet who has been asked to blog and tweet and tumble and facebook knows how Blow got himself in trouble and has trod similar territory. There’s a bottomless bucket that we’re all asked to fill each day with posts and opinion and entertaining nuggets. We’re all publishing more words than ever, which necessarily means we’re giving them less thought. Hey, much of the time it’s a blast. It can be fun to work without a safety net and get instant feedback on what you write. But the pitfall is what Blow fell into yesterday. … Whatever disciplinary action the paper takes, it’s going to cast a pall over all of the paper’s blogs. What newspaper reporter wants to risk his job for a joke?”


3 Comments


  1.  
    Don Young

    At the risk of losing your job, I suggest you start a movement to pull back from and rethink this information glut. We the people will get along just fine. I’d rather have one Jeff Prince article at 100% than a half dozen half ass Blotches and a less than 100% cover story. Do us all a favor and Just Say NO to Excessive Info. I’m serious.




  2.  
    jeff.prince

    Don, I wish it were that simple. The industry is changing. It’s smart to lead the way and be a pioneer rather than resist and lose relevance. Then again, all this crazy blogging, snarkiness, clever puns, brain farts, and unedited copy being shoveled out by newspapers and magazines online these days might just kill the industry’s relevance and credibility. Ten years from now the answers to these questions will be clear. Right now, the information age is in transition. I don’t know what the New Media will look like, but doing nothing and resisting change while waiting for the answers to come probably isn’t a good thing.




  3.  
    Nice

    Well put Jeff. I actually feel that there are two different writers when I read some of the Weekly scribes in print and online. Keeps it interesting actually. Don’t we get a chance to see a different side of a writer electronically?





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