1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Why do you blog for your newspaper?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kickoff-time, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. kickoff-time

    kickoff-time Member

    Not sure if this topic has been broached on here before, but I just wonder why beat writers, columnists and others blog for their papers when there seems to be little payoff, specifically in compensation. As an editor, I do not blog for my paper.

    I understand why newspapers want the online presence -- breaking news, faster reader interaction, etc, etc. In fact I would say more can be done through live blogging to better interact with readers.

    But I do not understand why newspapers refuse to pay their people for this work. As far as I know none of the people posting blogs for our paper gets compensated for it whether it's a blurb on a breaking story, a lengthy feature or an in-game running blog, yet the paper is making money off it through more Web traffic and, thus, online ad rates.

    It baffles me that respected, talented writers continue to blog for papers as many as 8-10 times per day yet do not get compensated, or better yet, refuse to ask for compensation. There comes a time when pride/effort needs to be met with dollars.

    One writer I know gets 2 million page views per month yet gets no compensation because "it's just part of the job now." Imagine if he started his own Web site and had advertisers paying for 2 million page views per month. Think he would still get zero dollars?

    I really think the smartest writers at our paper are the ones who do not blog. Why go to the effort and hassle when their is little reward.
  2. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Why do I do page layout in addition to my previous duties?

    Tens of thousands of more people see my extra work each day, and I'm not compensated for it.

    Right now, I do it because there's not a lot of other jobs out there, and I have a mortgage note to satisfy on a monthly basis.
  3. kickoff-time

    kickoff-time Member

    I am talking more about people voluntarily blogging.
    As I say, some writers just don't do it and only have copy in print. Sure if your job description changes because of layoffs or something you have no choice other than to get a different job.
  4. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Because I like it, and have no other platform for some of the things I write about. (I should say that I work in TV.)
  5. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Personally, I really love blogging. It's a way to get the news out there and focus the issues before having to write the story for the paper. It also gets your stuff into the hands of readers and it's a way to interact with the fans. Some of those blogs are nice communities. A reader question might lead to a good story.

    The economic reality is that you can't demand extra money for it right now, but I think hating the fact that you might have to blog isn't going to help your career.
  6. On top of the fact that I think it adds to the beat I cover, I've found my blog to be one of the more marketable things I do when it comes to someday finding a job outside of a newspaper. The one or two interviews I've had outside of the newspaper business specifically brought up my blog as something they really liked. Makes you seem like more of a self-starter I suppose...
  7. kickoff-time

    kickoff-time Member

    There are amazing benefits to blogging to be sure, but I'm thinking more about the guy I mention who gets nearly 2 million page views per month. Shouldn't he get something for that kind of traffic besides an attaboy?
  8. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    I don't really know if you can make a ton of money on your own with a blog. Even with 2 million. It wouldn't pay to travel full time with a team for example, much less a living wage. And a lot of those hits are probably due to the fact that a paper adds legitimacy to a blog. If you are independent, who knows what your standards are? You may just be a jock sniffer who makes shit up. Who's to say otherwise.

    I'm sure there are exceptions out there, but I don't think it's as easy as getting a wordpress blog and going to.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Why do people go on talk shows that don't pay?
  10. Leverage. Unless his/her blog is the kind where the beat gets the page views, and not the personality.
  11. kickoff-time

    kickoff-time Member

    I also think this goes to the much bigger problem of "we don't charge for our Web site so why should we pay our writers to post blogs there."

    Or maybe publishers know that soon there will be few major papers in print and they will just be an online only presence, so why pay extra now.

    I think it also goes to the mentality of the beat writer and veteran journalist. You do what you have to do. Asking for compensation for this stuff just doesn't seem to be in our makeup.

    But imagine any blogger in politics, entertainment or non-newspaper sports getting 2 milion page views per month and doing it for free. It likely doesn't happen.
  12. VJ

    VJ Member

    They also likely aren't getting health care, a set paycheck every or two weeks or many other perks that come with full-time employment.

    It has its advantages, but let's not make it sound like being a full-time blogger is the easy life.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page