Traditional journalists burning out on blogging

Filed as News on October 28, 2008 11:20 am

Reporters working for traditional news organisations are becoming burned out because of the demands placed upon them to engage in new media and communications tools, according to journalists at the National Press Club forum at the University of Missouri.

It’s quite common to find online versions of newspapers and news broadcasters kitting out their web sites with blogs, Twitter feeds, and social networking links, but it seems that in many cases this is a loss-making exercise, done only because it’s “cool” or institutions feel that they have to “keep up”.

A correspondent for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger, said that he had been blogging for years but had never had a discussion with the newsroom as to why they were blogging and how that should tie in to their business model.

Another correspondent, who works for the New York Times, said that she was expected to post online by noon, produce video, as well as produce copy for the print edition of the Times.

“You don’t have a choice,” said Elaine Sciolino. “If you want to be a journalist today, you just have to work harder and more efficiently. You aim for perfection until your deadline, and then you aim for doneness. You just gut it out.”

Yet another spoke of the incessant requirement to write, tweet, blog, and interact with whatever social platforms are currently in vogue.

There’s no simple answer, because companies need to ensure that they’re not being left behind when it comes to important technological and societal changes. Yet the decline in print media will only be expedited by stretching journalists until they snap.

(Via Market Watch)

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  1. By Nick posted on October 28, 2008 at 12:43 pm
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    Not only journalists, everybody have to “keep up” nowadays. Be fast and smart or be nothing.

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  2. By Amod Munga posted on October 29, 2008 at 3:09 am
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    Anyone ever read “Transmetropolitan”? It’s a graphic novel set in the future. The protagonist is a journalist who writes for whomever pays the most. In the first issue, he blogs (essentially) from the scene of a “race riot”. The series was first published some years ago before blogs were a buzzword.
    Where am I going with this?
    Journos need to realise that it’s adapt or die time. Use the tech available to raise their game. And for those who do, “rockstar” status awaits. I hate that label but it’s appropriate. Journos who get a grip on using the tech will start building their own audiences., their own reps and eventually they’ll be their own brand, bigger than the newsmedia platforms.

    Reply

  3. By KT posted on October 29, 2008 at 8:55 pm
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    It is tough. Wonder if it the reason some stories are just waffle. Gotta make the deadline….

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  4. By Debbie Horovitch posted on November 22, 2008 at 12:04 pm
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    I think it indicates a lot of new careers that will be created for people with opinons (exercising our rights to create a “personal brand”) – specifically of course, opportunities for myself

    Many corporations already have started hiring/creating new positions of people just to manage new media & communication channels, reformatting existing and historic (usually print) content to interact with consumers in consistently new ways.

    Ultimately content-reformatting serves to create new media/advertising and marketing opportunities (brands pay for the location where they can engage consumers); this secondary business that goes on behind communication and entertainment media broadcasting/publishing is responsible for a large portion of funding. Funding that led to our enjoyment of affordable, mass-produced, advertising-subsidized Blackberry, facebook, iPhone, newspapers, movies, journalist-blogs and more to communicate almost instantly and effortlessly

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