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BLOGS! Christie Blatchford speaks out...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JR, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    A little background for the Americans who have probably never heard of Ms. Blatchford. HIgh profile columnist for the Globe & Mail, formerly high profile columnist for the National Post and, for twenty years before that, a very, very, very high-profile columnist for the Toronto Sun.

    Conservative in a small town working class way (her father, about whom she wrote often, was the manager of a local arena in Toronto). When she graduated from journalism school, she became a sports writer for the Globe & Mail, covering hockey. Is good friends with the legendary Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. From all accounts, notoriously difficult to work with.

    Anyway, her column today is on blogs (she hates 'em). Worth reading:


    It is not true that anyone can write. It is not true that anyone can write on deadline. It is not true that anyone can do an interview. It is not true that anyone can edit themselves and sort wheat from chaff. It is not true that even great productive writers like The Globe's Jim Christie or Ms. DiManno or Mr. Farber can hit a home run every time they sit before the laptop. But the odds of them doing it are greatly increased if they haven't already filed 1,200 words to the Web, shot a video, done a podcast and blogged ferociously all day long.

    And this:

    On The Globe website, our slogan is "Join the Conversation," but in the blogosphere, what follows isn't usually a conversation but a brief, ungrammatical shouting match. You can have more pensive chats in a bar fight.
  2. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    Is she single? I think I'm in love. :D
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    She has some good ideas in the beginning, but then goes too far.

    Sounds good when she says writers only have so many words in them, that everyone's rushing off to blog about the weather.

    But then it turns into "back in my day" stuff where she laments that people used to write letters on creamy stationary and if you didn't like how paper A lectured you, you'd go buy paper B. There were so many different ways she could have gone with it, but walking down the nostalgia path takes away from her column.
  5. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Have you ever seen a photo?
  6. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Uh oh, here we go...
  7. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr R,

    The Globe blogs from the Olympics have been very hit and miss. I figured the best of them would give a glimpse of life and a sense of place outside the Olympic/journo bubble. A lot of it is deep inside the bubble and of only passing interest to the scribes' friends and people within the biz. I think Rod Mickleburgh and Jeff Blair have been pretty good.

    I disagree with the premise of the screed. The future belongs to those who figure out the multi-tasking (blogging, video, podcast, whathaveyou). The market and readership is looking for a more diverse service. I think her syllogism breaks down. Some people can write well and multi-task. Believe me, if they were freelancing (or even piggy-backing some freelance income on top of their square gig) they'd juggle chain-saws while dictating to the desk. I don't know if hers is a cry for help or a case for lieu time.

    YD&OHS, etc
  8. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Those things are true.

    Some people do them well. Some are mediocre. Some believe they can but they cannot and still pass themselves off as journalists, further eroding the standards of our profession.

    True. Stress and speed typically do not bring out the best in a writer.


    I agree that communicators should be diverse and ready to adapt. But wearing down your reporters and the quality of their work with demands of four or five kinds of "new media" every day isn't smart.
  9. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr Toe,

    Yet so many of them will juggle freelance/radio & TV hits ... it's a mighty leap to suppose that the time freed up from not having niggling new-media housekeeping will result in higher-quality work (rather than more forgiving tee times and better tables at bistros apres-ecrit).

    YD&OHS, etc
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Sometimes tee times and tables at bistros are as essential to good work as anything else. It's called time away from the job, and it's just as crucial for avoiding burnout as not having to blog, blog, blog and shoot, shoot, shoot and upload, upload, upload all day before hammering out a column that should have been allowed more time to breathe before the writing.

    Some of the best work writers do is not as a keyboard, and some of the best work anyone does is know when to have some time off for balance.
  11. exposbabe

    exposbabe New Member

    Nice sentiments in theory; far removed from the current reality of our business.
  12. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr Dangerously,

    You're absolutely right ... to front-load the key qualifiers.

    YD&OHS, etc
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