Thanks, fellow bloggers
As I e-mailed to Rob a few days ago, there's an old saying in journalism about the ecstasy and agony of writing a five-day-a-week column, the way the late, great Mike Royko in Chicago used to do: "It's like being married to a nymphomaniac." Blogging takes those demands and rewards to whole new levels. Another of my favorite blogs, Power Line in Minnesota, sees its three contributors posting fresh and fabulous material at all hours of the day and night ... and the Power Line gents all are successful attorneys with full-time, high-powered jobs. Again, so impressive ... though I'm sure it's got to be like being married to several nymphomaniacs, in some weird computer-journalism version of "Big Love"!
This perceptive column in Editor & Publisher, the newpaper trade journal, basically says "You ain't seen nothin' yet." Not only will the journalists of tomorrow have to throw out any notion of a 9 to 5 job, but also they'll need skills in video and other media forms:
"What seems to be becoming the norm in newsrooms these days is that a growing group of reporters, photographers and editors are now working in jobs where there's a wide variety of tasks to be done each day: feeding the newspaper's Web site; writing for blogs and interacting with blog readers; gathering audio for the website and/or radio partners; recording video clips; participating in online chats and discussion forums ... Oh, and writing for the newspaper's print edition."
I definitely can see that happening in the Herald's newsroom, and expect to be podcasting our editorial-board interviews with newsmakers soon and posting video editorials not long after that. Though a part of me can't help admiring Bill Whittle at the blog Eject! Eject! Eject! ("You're a former liberal. Your worldview has been hit by heat-seeking reality and you're on fire and out of control. You have only a few decades in which to react! Think fast! ... Eject! Eject! Eject!") Whittle does "long form" posts every few months. He hasn't posted since January, yet he's still being quoted. That's family-friendly blogging, the way it ought to be!