Monday, February 18, 2008

Two articles of interest in latest AJR

Two articles in the current edition of American Journalism Review focus on some of the positive things occuring with interactive, participatory journalism.

The lead article in the Drop Cap section of the magazine, titled "Joining the Conversation: Newspapers are establishing blogs to talk to readers about their concerns" explores the use of editors' blogs or transparency blogs

The article notes that "Once more likely to circle the wagons than engage in conversation, newspapers have moved in recent years to become more transparent, and top editors like [Raliegh News & Observer's John] Drescher are increasingly reaching out to readers via blogs."

The full article can be found at:

In the same issue, Carl Sessions Stepp's regular book column discusses a new offering from Northwestern University's Michele Weldon titled Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page (published by University of Missouri Press). According to Stepp, the book "argues that a content revolution is taking place in plain sight that will transform media and could help save newspapers." He further quotes from the book that this revolution, is a "revived journalistic reverence for the individual" and "the concurrent explosion in marketing of the stories of ordinary people."

The full review by Stepp can be found at:


Michele Weldon said...

Thanks for the mention, Jack. In my new book,on p. 23-24, I quote your 2005 study of hundreds of articles in the Rochester Democrazt Gazette from 2/1990 and 2/2005 where you find "firsy-day leads are significantly less prevalent." I also love your quote from our 2005 interview at AEJMC when you said, "In one news story I had to go to the fifth paragraph to find out a garbage truck had backed over a woman." Please check out my new website,
and please post on my blog everywomanews
Michele Weldon

Glenn Scott said...

It's been an interesting few years to see how -- and whether -- newspapers would adopt blogging as a part of their routine forms. It's happening now, finally. The first generation of staff-produced blogs were a wonderful, eclectic collection from early innovators. The first I found in a fairly large content analysis in 2004 included a blog produced by an ambitious newsroom librarian (the sort of data that a news librarian would work up on some breaking topic) and another by a copy editor in San Diego on science fiction. Few at the start were produced by beat reporters, most of whom were not convinced that the time to crank out a daily post or two was worth the effort. That has now changed, though many house blogs still have good and bad days, to say the least. We'll see blogs integrated more throughly in the next few years. The next challenge, when a paper produced two or three dozen blogs, is to make the content compelling enough to earn attention. What I love about the in-house weblog is the constant trial and error. This is a rare area in mainstream news where there is an unexpired license to try new stuff.