The Village View

Monday, July 31, 2006

ABC News Blogs vs. Blotter

I recently started checking out the ABC News website because of a personal connection. News site is pretty standard (except that I can't get it to show on my Blackberry like CNN does) but I found something interesting: the Blotter. It looks a lot like a blog: most recent posts up top, permalinks, comments section. You can even subscribe to the feed. However, the first thing I saw (they may have taken it down now, b/c I didn't see it today) was an introduction that said something like, "we are journalists, not bloggers...." I was a bit turned off initially because it reminded me of some conferences, events etc. that i've been to where journalists and PR folks spend vast amounts of time disparaging bloggers and explaining how what they do is much more legitimate. (I don't want to get into this subject here, but suffice it to say, I think there is a place for both).
Anyway, I had the chance to speak with some folks who worked at ABC and asked them, "and why exactly is this not a blog?" I was actually satisfied with the answer, which was essentially something like this: First, ABC News has blogs, written mostly be reporters. The Blotter differs in that it is (should be) objective. The writers should use the same standards of journalism that they would in any other news story and present the facts and leave the personal biases out. My understanding of the reporters' blogs is that in these, reporters can be less objective and share more personal opinions.
Neither the blogs nor the Blotter are perfect, but it's nice to see that a mainstream news outlet is embracing social media and allowing for a conversation with its readers.

Note: I found Anderson Cooper's blog on Additionally, CNN has RSS feeds for pages e.g., Top Stories, World etc.