West Seattle Herald is either really freaked out about the competition from local blog West Seattle Blog, or they simply just don’t get it. Probably the latter, or perhaps it is a matter of being frustrated by the fact that they just can’t break news from events anymore, since it is being liveblogged. I don’t know, but I think Eat Sleep Publish is dead on, and would like to quote this from an editorial by the West Seattle Herald who questions local blogging:
Professional journalists don’t waste your time
Professional journalists perform a very valuable function in a democratic society. They sift through the information and, when they are good, provide as unbiased a view as possible. That’s the job.
Instead of 3000 words about a community council meeting that was ‘live blogged’ with updates every seven minutes, wouldn’t you honestly prefer 300 words that tell you what happened and what was decided?
While I probably wouldn’t read a liveblogged council meeting, I still find this offensive. Let’s say I’m really interested in local politics but can’t attend, then the live blog is a great way to keep up to date as it happens. Is it the perfect way to cover a council meeting? No, of course not, but it is live and happening right now.
Think about it. If you’re an Apple nut, you’ve been reading the Engadget liveblogs, haven’t you? And then you went on Twitter and said what you thought, or commented it, or whatever.
West Seattle Herald just doesn’t get it. If I was a less delicate person I’d just point to their website, a perfect example of old media going online but not realizing that there are, in fact, demands here as well.
The scary part is that they honestly seem to think that they are worth more than local bloggers. If I had a subscription to this particular newspaper, I’d cancel it.
Just to further illustrate the “not getting it” part, here’s another quote from the same editorial:
Print vs. Online Advertising
Newspapers and Web sites both sell and display advertising. But a Web site ad is only worth about 10 percent of what an ad is worth in print.
This is so because print advertising actually WORKS. You can say more, show more, and it is often seen multiple times in the same home or family and kept around. Weekly news-papers have staying power.
Oh it works does it? That’s funny, because 2009 will most likely see a far more drastic slump in print advertising, than it will online. Why? Because with online advertising you can track your results – how’s that not working really?
This post, the one you’re reading, is an editorial. That means this is my opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of the Blog Herald staff, or the owners. In the same way, the West Seattle Herald editorial is the opinion of, well, someone in the editorial staff, credits aren’t available. That makes it even worse, since it implies that it is in fact the newspaper’s point of view.
What do you think about the West Seattle Herald’s editorial?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.