Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Press Blogs

Alas, the Grand Rapids Press now has blogs.

I recall many years ago sitting in Press editor Mike Lloyd's office and being chastised for suggesting that the Press could post some information on its then new Web site. "I need to sell papers!" he nearly yelled at me. I should have known better than to suggest to a newspaper editor another way to inform the public. In retrospect, I can see how my idea too clearly resembled, you know, journalism.

But now, Press reporters are blogging. The paper version started alerting readers to these offerings several weeks ago. So far, the blogs seem to make a conventional mistake--merely posting information, in this case columns, online. Blogs are supposed to be about dialogue--two-way dialogue, We PR professionals know about two-way communication; we can't expect journalists steeped in a tradition of agenda-setting, gate-keeping, one-way dissemination to adapt too quickly to the blogosphere. But it will be fun to watch.

Readers are able to email the reporter, but that's nothing new. It would be better if all readers could view both the blog and the readers' comments. Perhaps that is yet to come.

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