Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bloggers’ Page as the new Op-Ed page: & how to go about it

The New York Times writes about BostonNow, a new and free weekday daily that carries reports written by local bloggers, including sports and music reviews.

Bloggers’ posts are carried in gray boxes, next to regular articles written by reporters.

A look at the issues related to this idea

1. Reliability
The editors act as filters, weeding out puff pieces and soft reporting.

2. Verification of authors
At present, the newspaper only verifies bloggers’ e-mail IDs on registration.

3. Code of ethics
Needed but not finalized yet

Making it better
Writing earlier about the possibility of reading 'Best of Digg' (alongwith Techmeme and others ) articles in print, I wrote about JPG magazine, where users submit their photos, people rate it and the best stuff goes on to the print version.

Bloggers’ page as Op-Ed page
What if every local paper around the world started doing this? How do you go about it?

Done properly, the new Op-Ed pages can do two things, to begin with:
1. Bringing hitherto unknown bloggers/writers into the realm of public scrutiny and wider acceptance.
Some local bloggers might have sizeable online readership, which the local paper can bring in to its print versions.

2. Bringing more issues out in the open
Hot button local issues such as governance, corruption, local biases can easily be covered in the commons when there are so many reading and planning to explore issues.

What will it take for every local paper to aggregate, rank (Digg like) blogs posts and print the best ones in the new Op – Ed page?

The rating page can be made better by using tags like “unfinished piece”, “puff piece”, “Worth researching further”, going imaginative with the process.

All stories tagged “worth researching further” will be listed in a special section. This will particularly help in bringing to light worthy stories and issues that affect the citizens’ lives.

This is especially important in today’s webified times, in light of suggestion made by knowledgeable people that newspapers must focus on more analysis and opinion pieces in order to compete with free, up-to-date information available on the web.

Reporters’ Guide
A Reporters’ guide would also be a good idea
Sites like Wikinews have it. Assignment Zero ahs a basic reporting guide. We can make it more comprehensive.

Paying writers
At present BostonNow does not pay bloggers.

Here’s what the editor-in-chief of BostonNow, John Wilpers has to say about it:

“If you’re writing about Boston sports, what’s more valuable to you, $25 or a press pass to the Red Sox? Or a backstage pass as a music writer to interview the band you’ve always wanted to interview?” he said. “It’s something they can’t get but as a newspaper we could.”

Good point.
A sort of practical vision one can use to start with, until the new coverage gains wider acceptance, and the experiment results in increased circulation.

Moreover, bloggers who contribute to BostonNow retain the ownership of their content. The current circulation of BostonNow is 85,000.

Who knows, one day many papers could have armies of bloggers writing for them, and bloggers would be paid as well?

Labels: , ,


At 10:26 AM , Blogger Bala Pillai said...


Let's organise the model for this for India as part of an entrepreneurship. A media play in India.

Email me at bala @ apic dot net

At 1:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get [url=http://buy-cialis.icr38.net/Minomycin]minomycin online[/url] easy - Patent Offer differin online here - Ultimate Price


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home