Newspaper Blogs

I have written before about the local newspaper's entry into the online world and what this 'new world' means for 'new media.'

So it was with great interest that I read this piece about newspapers and blogs. While I obviously do not begrudge the Tribune its weblogs, something always...troubled...me about Gannett's sort of pseudo-control of their online space. I can't say it as well as this author did:

No surprise that the organized media wanted in on [the blogging phenomenon]. There was and is, however, a drawback to their getting in on it: which is that the space they come to occupy on the terrain of blogging they also transform just by that very act. In integrating this space into their own operation they make it part of whatever media organization they are, which is something else than the free space of the blogosphere.

Not to be misunderstood here: I'm not saying that those blogs operating under the umbrella of newspapers and other media aren't really blogs. They have too many blog-like features to be called anything else. But they are part of the press, as opposed to being part of the (free) blogosphere. Since the press is now online as well
as on paper, the boundary between mainstream media and the blogosphere isn't so sharp a one, anyway. But blogs and bloggers in the press domain are constrained in ways that independent bloggers aren't, and it's a domain, theirs, that isn't freely open to entry. Some will say that these constraints are to the good. They doubtless have their advantages. Yet they mean that the media-controlled blog-space is a less open, less various, less teeming and less colourful space than the blogosphere as such. Long may this great and noisy multitude flourish.

1 comment:

david said...

I agree completely -- which is why I really appreciate that Tom Kotynski's blog is NOT on the Trib site, but rather hosted on Blogspot.

Heh...hard to respect a blog on Blogspot, but in this case, it's better than the alternative!