A broadcast station is reportedly due to issue corporate guidelines on blogging. Among other things, the guidelines bar its workers from blogging about work. On the other hand, another broadcast station is very supportive of the blogging efforts of its Malacañang reporter.
During last Saturday’s blogging conference organized by PCIJ, the institutional support for journalists who want to blog was a common item in media workers’ wishlist. Institutional support could come in the way of hosting the journalists’ blogs or helping them set it up.
This was also part of the wishlist of Inquirer editor John Nery. If I were the Inquirer, I’d immediately set a blog for John Nery in the Inq7 website, allow him to blog from work and even pay for his high-speed Internet connection at home so he can blog some more if he wants to.
Why? Blogging allows media to go beyond its generalist character. Newspapers, for example, do not devote too much coverage on niche or esoteric topics because the number of readers does not justify the cost of printing these pages.
But online-and through blogging-you can have as many sections on different issues as you want because putting out an online section is relatively cheap. Several blogs with low web traffic can, collectively, make up a large audience.
A good example of a media organization that embraces rather than shuns blogging is MSNBC. Rick Kaplan of MSNBC said in a blogging conference early this year that they noticed a “direct correlation between audience growth for a particular show and the amount of attention that the people involved with the show give to their blogs.”
I said during the forum that in my case, I asked for my editors’ permission to blog. I am relatively free to experiment on anything related to consumer or web technology because I cover these topics for the paper. The second version of my blog, in fact, was hosted in the Sun.Star server.
But unlike many of the journalists who attended the conference, I do not want to be hosted by Sun.Star. This is because I experiment a lot with web scripts and I do not want to risk affecting the site’s services with an ill-advised Cybercafe Experiment. The biggest online disaster I encountered – deleting at least 50 of my previous blog’s post in a botched upgrade to an alpha script – prompted me to decide to host my site elsewhere and the Sun.Star website, understandably, agreed.