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Here’s the Handout. “It’s hard to predict things, particularly things in the future” -- Yogi Berra, Yankee Great. “While I've been a journalist for

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here s the handout

Here’s the Handout

“It’s hard to predict things,

particularly things in the future”-- Yogi Berra, Yankee Great

“While I've been a journalist for

almost three decades now, and still firmly believe in the traditional journalistic standards, I think it's imperative we present our news outside the box.”

  • Gery Woelfel, The Woelfel World of Sports, Racine Journal Times
from print to the web
… From Print to the Web
  • "A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their preference from print to online editions"
        • Gerry Davidson, Nielsen//NetRatings
here are the readers
Here are the Readers
  • “Newspaper websites are contributing significant numbers of readers who do not necessarily read the printed publications”
        • E&P on Scarborough study, 6/21/05
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    • Add in online: Readership goes up 5% (233,000 readers)
    • "We no longer consider our print audience to be separate from our online audience“
        • Jim Wilson, AJC
  • Online readers younger
    • Average age of newspaper reader: 53
    • Online newspaper readers: Nearly 1-in-4 is between 18 and 34
follow the money
Follow the Money …
  • Online newspaper advertising
    • “Ad spending online continued its double-digit growth in the first quarter, increasing by 39.7 percent from the same period a year ago to $455 million”
        • NAA, May 2005
oh oh pop quiz
Oh, Oh … Pop Quiz!!!

Can you

name this man?

news is a conversation

News is a Conversation

… So Let’s Join In

why blog
Why Blog?
  • “The blog has also helped me develop the beat by connecting with people I might not otherwise connect with.”
        • Todd Bishop, Seattle Times
  • “It's another way to reach another part of our readership.”
        • Michael Landauer, Dallas Morning News
  • “I think blogging has also sharpened my reporting.”
        • Michael Bazely, San Jose Mercury News
types of newspaper blogs
Types of Newspaper Blogs
  • Like papers, there are:
    • News blogs
    • Features blogs
    • Sports blogs
    • Columnist blogs
    • Event blogs
    • Editor blogs
    • Group blogs
  • Want more?
    • See the list at
news blogs technology
News Blogs: Technology
  • Silicon Beat
    • Michael Bazely, Matt Marshall (Internet, venture cap reporters), San Jose Mercury News
  • “We write about and for tech-savvy people who get most of their information on the Web, and we needed to reach them on their terms.”
news blogs local government
News Blogs: Local Government
  • Inside Scoop
    • Matthew Williams, Mark Binker (government reporters), Greensboro, News-Record
  • “My favorite type of entry involves scanning in original memos and other documents into PDF's so people can read things for themselves.”
news blogs some others
News Blogs: Some Others
  • The Front Pew
    • Nancy McLaughlin, Religion reporter, Greensboro News-Record
  • Microsoft Blog
    • Todd Bishop, Tech writer, Seattle P-I
  • Health Beat
    • Heather Lalley, Spokesman-Review
  • Job Blog
    • Staff, Boston Globe
feature blogs rv s
Feature Blogs: RV’s
  • Wheel Life
    • Julianne Crane, Spokesman-Review
sports blogs
Sports Blogs
  • The Woelfel World of Sports
    • Gery Woelfel, Racine Journal Times
  • “My blogs have been presented in a variety of ways: sometime they're short and concise; at other times, they are lengthy and in-depth. In both cases, I make every attempt to make them timely.”
sports blogs1
Sports Blogs
  • Mariners Weblog
    • Seattle PI sports staff
  • “What can you expect to find on the …Mariners Blog? Breaking news, links to what people are saying about the team, a closer look at the numbers and more. We'll also offer up few opinions of our own and invite you to do the same.”
columnist blogs
Columnist Blogs
  • California Insider
    • Daniel Weintraub, Sacramento Bee
  • "If our world is changing, we simply have to change with it. We have to engage more with our readers, become more a part of the conversation and less of a lecturer.”
        • Weintraub on Pressthink, 11/01/04
event blogs
Event Blogs
  • Politics
    • NY Times, USA Today, Guardian, Seattle Times, Wash. Post
  • Science
    • NY Times (Arctic)
  • Sports
    • Olympics (USA Today), NCAA (Charlotte Observer, Seattle Times)
  • News
    • Anniversary of Station Nightclub fire (100 dead)
    • Providence Journal
editor blogs
Editor Blogs
  • Virtual Greality
    • Chris Cobler, Greeley Tribune
    • “My blog is one of the top-viewed pages on our Web site, so it has increased my reach as an editor.”
  • Others
    • John Robinson, Greensboro
    • Chris Lopez, Contra Costa Times
group blogs
Group Blogs
  • Daily Briefing
    • Editors, Spokesman-Review
    • Inside the news process
  • “Each weekday morning and afternoon, the editorial staff of The Spokesman-Review meets to discuss that morning's paper and the coverage planned for tomorrow. We'll use this blog to help involve you in that process.”
before you blog
Before You Blog…
  • There are questions about …
    • The advantages …
    • As well as some disadvantages …
    • And that pesky edit-or-not-to-edit debate …
    • And, of course, ethics
  • Luckily
    • There are answers
the upside
Greater reach within your community

Geographic or virtual

Write are more of an insider level

More sources

More time for in-depth stories

Put the routine on line

More information to readers

Print + Web = More

More credibility

Source documents online

Sharper reporting

“Writing to learn"

Web let’s you know what people are reading

Closer to readers

Web allows instant feedback on your work

Hey, it’s fun

Be creative, have a voice

The Upside
upside new audience
“I was at an event where one employee introduced me to another as, ‘you know, that guy who writes the Microsoft blog for the P-I.’ That was an eye-opener for me, because it was pretty clear that they didn't know I wrote for the traditional newspaper, or didn't care.”

Todd Bishop, Microsoft Blog, Seattle P-I

“When I call people for stories or attend work-related events, many people know me now from the blog, not the paper.”

Michael Bazeley, Silicon Beat, Mercury News

Upside: New Audience
upside more knowledge
“It's the whole ‘writing to learn’ philosophy. … I'm posting an average of three items or so a day, sometimes more, and in that way I get deeply engaged with a lot more topics than I might otherwise.

Todd Bishop, Microsoft Blog, Seattle P-I

“I think blogging has also sharpened my reporting. … We are spending more time mining our beats, talking to sources and reading about issues. We're consuming more information, which can only be good.”

Michael Bazeley, Silicon Beat, Mercury News

Upside: More knowledge
upside more in depth stories
Upside: More in-depth stories
  • “Does it help my reporting? Yes. It does take some time to blog, but it saves me from writing a whole story about some marginally important item that I might have felt necessary if I didn't have another outlet. That gives me more time for in-depth stories that make it into the paper.”
        • Matt Williams, Inside Scoop, Greensboro News-Record
upside feedback
“That's the best part. We allow readers to post comments on all of our articles. They regularly let us know about any error or hole in a story. They do the same on my blog.”

Chris Cobler, editor, Greeley Tribune

“We can see what people are saying about us and who is reading us because in the blogosphere, people link to you and comment on your work. It's instant feedback. I love it.”

Michel Bazeley, San Jose Mercury News

Upside: Feedback
upside hey it s fun
Upside: Hey, it’s fun!
  • “So why do we blog? Mostly for blogging's sake, I would say. It's fun. It's another outlet. It's another way to reach another part of our readership. As creative people, aren't we always striving for that? I mean, where else would I have written about the greatest movie lines this week? Not in an editorial or a column. But our readers on the blog liked to talk about it.”
        • Michael Landauer, editorial writer, Dallas Morning News
the downside
The Downside
  • Blogging takes time
    • Have to add it to the workday
  • Online audience is still limited
    • Still need all those dead trees
  • Spam
    • Some people just aren’t very nice and you will hear from them
  • It’s not right for everybody
    • Requires motivation and dedication
    • Some blogs need a point of view
downside time
“I try to be strict about limiting myself to an hour of work on the weblog each day, generally in the morning, but sometimes it can take a little more time. … There's a risk that you can take too much time away from your work for the newspaper.”

Todd Bishop, Seattle P-I

“Because we try to distinguish ourselves by posting original, reported content, it's sometimes like having a second job. Consequently, Matt blogs early in the morning. I tend to blog later at night. … We do it, though, because we are excited by the medium and how it's helped us.”

Michael Bazeley, Mercury News

Downside: Time
downside spam
“The feedback we get is often bitter, personal and hateful, more so than in response to what we print because the blog is more personal in nature. They feel like they know you and can attack you personally more.”

Michael Landauer, Dallas Morning News

“… you're also doing things like monitoring the comments to delete the spam and make sure no one gets out of hand.”

Todd Bishop, Seattle P-I

Downside: Spam
downside not for everybody
“I'm not sure that all beats lend themselves to it … and a reluctant blogger will probably suck. God forbid we end up with any more crappy blogs than we already have.

Michael Bazeley, Mercury News

“Blog because you want to and you're bursting with unused information from your beat. If you're not interested in your beat, it will show in the blog.”

Matt Williams, Greensboro News-Record

Downside: Not for everybody
to edit or not to edit1
Kirk: Full edit ahead

The assistant business editor … reads my posts before I publish them. But it's not like the intensive editing process that you go through for a newspaper story.”

Todd Bishop,

Seattle P-I

“It's unfathomable to me how any media outlet could allow its newsroom to publish unedited content, whether in print or on the Web.”

Tony Marcano, (former Sacramento Bee ombudsman)

Picard: Make it so

“There isn't really one. We agreed from the beginning that editors would back-read as they see fit.”

Michael Bazeley, Mercury News

“Editors kill voice. … They'd edit for holes in the story, so I'd overwrite the thing Because it's not edited, it feels more like an informal email you wrote to a friend explaining something that happens on your beat.”

Matt Williams, News Record

To Edit or Not to Edit
other issues
Scooping the paper

“I've run some profiles of start-up businesses a few days before they found their way into the paper. I don't see a problem with that. We're publishing to different audiences. But not everyone agrees.”

Michael Bazeley, Mercury News


If you're not a columnist, keep away from opinion. This isn't the outlet to say what you really think about the mayor. I have fun with the blog and write informally, but I would never write anything I couldn't justify under my byline in a news story.

Matt Williams, News Record

Other Issues
words of wisdom

Pick one with a built in audience

“Only tackle a subject about which you're passionate. Otherwise, it's just another chore...”

Chuck Darrow, Phillies Blog, Courier Post


Be ready to spend it

Have a voice

Practice “under the radar”

Be interesting

More than facts

Follow your instincts


Don’t solicit; let it build

Comments follow content

Words of Wisdom
“I always get a chuckle out of fellow journalists (who think) blogs are the future of journalism. I beg to disagree; I think they're the ‘present’ of journalism.”
        • Gery Woelfel, The Woelfel World of Sports, Racine Journal Times
thanks to
Michael Bazeley:

Todd Bishop:

Matthew Williams:


Gery Woelfel:

Chris Cobler:

Chuck Darrow:

Ken Sands: Spokane Spokesman-Review

Thanks to …
here s the handout1

Here’s the Handout

Tim Porter