What odd comments made by Brian Trench about the journalism/blogging crossover.
From today’s IT, Deloitte produced some report about media blogging etc and said
” Deloitte’s media and technology team note that the traditional path of creating a columnist is a major investment that may not always pay off.
Hiring journalism school graduates, training them for years, having them cover a beat and then giving them a column is not a guaranteed route to attracting healthy readership.
On the other hand, there is a growing number of bloggers and podcasters who have already attracted a loyal audience, sometimes amounting to tens of thousands of people. Says Deloitte: “A columnist with a devoted following would be an asset to most traditional media outlets, and hiring someone from the web is likely to be much less expensive that poaching successful staff from a competitor.”
That seems on the nail. But the article goes on
“So should aspiring journalists make a blog their number one priority? According to Brian Trench, senior lecturer in the School of Communications in Dublin City University: “I can see the logic, because there is a readymade profile of work to assess. But I have no evidence that it has been happening in Ireland. In fact, established journalists are expected now to take on a blogging role as an adjunct to their job. It might happen more in specialist trade publications and in sports writing.”
Trench added that it is increasingly common for journalists to work across a number of different platforms, including the web. However journalists don’t yet require technical web skills as dedicated programmers work in the background performing the technical roles.”
1. “no evidence that it is happening?” Me? Richard Waghorne? Damien Mully? Internationally, Andrew Sullivan?
2. “established journalists expected to take on a blogging role”. Who? Harry McGee made a brief effort but seems to have abandoned it since his IT move. Kevin Rafter has a blog too but it’s separate from the Tribune site and I’m not sure what following it has. In the UK, sites like the Guardian have their journos blog on the home site. Hasn’t happened here at all (the IT has a pricewatch blog but its seriously marginal).
3. “journalists don’t yet require technical web skills as dedicated programmers….perform the technical roles” Oh dear me. The whole point of a blog is that you don’t need any “technical skills”.
Deloittee got it right but Trench got it oh so wrong. He should read up a little bit on the internet before he starts pronouncing on it. Personally I think bloggers can be columnists ( I would wouldn’t I?) but professional journalists find it very difficult to blog. Blogging is so informal that its hard for the disciplined pro to let go whereas a blogger can find it within themselves to “step up” to the higher standards required of the print medium.
Update: Stephen below points out I do the Irish Times no favours. He’s right. They have three blogs and though I’m an online subscriber I’d never read any of them! They are here and look like they’re being updated regularly. I wonder what the readership is? Do you have to be a subscriber to read them? Still, they are, as I say on marginal issues – no hardcore political issues – its “young people’s stuff” and the comments don’t look too busy. I see they link to other blogs, but not mine. I forgive them. Well, not really. 😉