Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blogs and Newspapers

I got an email today from someone at The Denver Post announcing that they were going to do a business oriented blog.
I’m writing to introduce and invite you to a new blog now featured on the Denver Post website.

This blog will feature information and commentary about developments in the rapidly-changing world of technology, but heavily focused on Colorado and surrounding regions.
OK, interesting. Might be worth reading and I'll check it out. But then this:
While this blog – and all of our Denver Post blogs – are not replacements for news, this kind of interaction is designed to supplement and hopefully strengthen the exemplary news coverage you find in our newspaper daily.
This is interesting. They're saying: "This isn't news or meant to compete with news". To a degree, that's true, it's context for news. It's also, often, The News to me. It's all I read, if there isn't a relevant link. Where do newspapers think we get news now? Yes, often, it's an article in the NYT or WSJ if it's national, or the Denver Post or the Boulder Camera if it's local. But, almost always, I read that story now as a link from a blog. Someones blog recommended the story (or referenced it in a context I'm interested in). Either that, or from Google News, Digg or Reddit. I haven't read a paper newspaper in years, and only rarely do I go directly to newspapers websites anymore. I get to them through the context of someones opinion.

If newspapers really wanted to drive the creation and consumption of news on the internet, they should consider using their editorialists as context creators. Encourage and empower those folks writing their editorials (i.e. their blogs.. pretty much the same thing) to talk about things we're interested in, and then reference the stories in their papers (and if they were really smart, other papers and information sources as well). That, assuming I like and or trust the editorial/blogger, is much more valuable to me in finding relevant reading than context free news stories.

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