OLD Media Moves

Is biz journalism changing due to blogs?

May 30, 2008

TheDeal executive editor Yvette Kantrow writes Friday that recent coverage of blogs by BusinessWeek and the New York Times magazine has her wondering of all of this talk about new media means that business journalism as we know it is irrevocably changing.

BloggingKantrow writes, “Indeed, on BusinessWeek.com, readers are asked to submit story ideas that will be doled out to BusinessWeek reporters. (Lucky them.) A recent plea on the site from executive editor John Byrne: ‘Help Us Cover America’s Recession,’ Writes Byrne of BusinessWeek.com’s new young recession reporter, whom he compares to — get this — the late Alistair Cooke: ‘Who should he meet? Where should he go? What should he write?’

“Well, for starters, how about the fact that we’re not officially in a recession? Yes, we know. Picky, picky; it certainly feels like a recession. But that’s what editors do; they nitpick about accuracy and facts. But such technicalities only get in the way when you’re looking to drum up traffic or even persuade 23-year-olds to send you their story ideas — preferably in 140 characters or less.

“Of course, we all want our journalism to be thoroughly reported, which often means talking to scores of people when shaping stories and ideas. But does that mean we want reporting to become just another “American Idol”-like exercise, with the crowd determining whom journalists meet, where they go and what they write? The Times took a lot of heat (and generated lots of buzz, Web traffic and comments) last week for giving several pages of its magazine to a 26-year-old tattooed blogger who had nothing to talk about but herself. But perhaps that piece was just a sign of things to come as more media outlets follow BusinessWeek and look to readers to generate content. After all, most people’s favorite topic is themselves.”

Read more here.

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