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Editing reporters' blogs?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, May 24, 2007.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    A friend who's wrestling with a new job as a new media director has run into an unusual question.

    At his paper, the news editor is agitating to take the reporters' blogs under his/her wing, to the extent that he/she (the news editor) would like to be able to edit them.

    I'm not familiar enough with the etiquette of blogs and such to have an opinion.

    I trust my guys not to write anything on their blogs that's going to get us into trouble.

    So far so good - but I can imagine a situation where more scrutiny might be required.

  2. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I think they should be edited.

    I know they are blogs, but they're on the newspaper's Web site. Somebody should edit them.

    When we begin blogging soon, I will read all of the stuff from my staff before it goes up.
  3. Babs

    Babs Member

    Agree, they should be edited. Typos and facts for sure. Content, less important because it's more free-form.
  4. No. Don't edit. That's my newspaper's policy and it works fine.

    If I made a mistake I go back and fix it. If it's been on there a while I point out what the mistake was.

    If you're really worried about the reporter writing something unprofessional, then maybe you shouldn't give him a blog.
  5. lantaur

    lantaur Active Member

    Exactly. Not everyone should have a blog. If you are fielding copy first, it kind of takes away from that immediacy thing. What if a reporter, for whatever reason, has a scoop at 3 a.m. (or just is awake and wants to post something)? Does he need to wake an editor up to have it posted?

    If you want to backfield it after it is up, go for it, but I've found that idea sounds good at the start but then fades away (as the reporter is trustworthy enough not to worry about it; and people are seemingly more forgiving about stupid spelling mistakes in blogs).
  6. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    We have a mixture of staff generated and outside generated blogs on our newspaper's site. Our in-house blogs by our own staffers are edited. The outside blogs aren't but the outside bloggers are well screened and so far have been fairly competant. Actually we have a staff sports blog and we edit each other's entries for the most part. Sometimes I'll blog at odd hours at home and am careful in the reading the entry before posting so some of our stuff is unedited.

    Not to threadjack here but I do have a question. No one on the news side can blog about anything news related to their beats. One reporter has a food and restaurant blog another has one about well...I'm not sure what's about other than her being a nut. But we blog about our beats or whatever the hell we want to on our staff sports blog. Does anyone else have any restrictions put on their blogs by the paper, outside of the obvious ban on libelous or slanderous material?
  7. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    i got a shitton of typos on my blog, but nobody minds -- if i had to wait for it to be edited, it would take away from the immediacy and intimacy of the blog

    but that's just me
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I don't especially believe sports desks need the extra workload, but, yeah, I think newspaper blogs ought to be edited. Why look amateurish if we don't have to?
  9. I don't get that. Hell, it bugs me if I have a typo on here.
  10. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    i do roughly 3,000 words a day on my blog, plus another 2,000 for print, so i worry about typos in the 2,000 for print

    everything i write on the blog is usually timely. if i notice a typo, a lot of times i'll go back and change it. but i often, for some reason, misspell the teh -- and, well, i don't think it undermines my reporting. i've got a pretty damn popular blog, and i think for a lot of people the allure is that it's not as formal, and part of that is the occasional typo. i don't like 'em, but they don't ruin my day.
  11. A lot of people feel the same way as you Hoops. And obviously your blog is a hit. I may be in the minority, but I still have trouble with unedited stories. I guess it's the dinosaur in me.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i'm also on the "be edited" side.
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