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Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 01:33 | SYDNEY
Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 01:33 | SYDNEY

Why journos don't blog

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28 May 2009 10:22

This is not an international policy-themed post, but since The Interpreter belongs to the new media evolution and since the Lowy Institute's work is so closely intertwined with journalism, it is worth an occasional look at this subject.

I've written before about what strikes me as the relatively anaemic growth of the Australian political blogosphere. Here's one explanation for that which had never occurred to me before, which is that the 'scoop culture' of journalism (very pronounced in the Canberra press gallery) is unsuited to the networking mindset required for blogging. Academics have this networking mindset too, which might explain why they have taken to blogging better than journos have (h/t Sullivan):

“Situating your work and your contribution in the ongoing discussion” is exactly what bloggers do — and it’s something that journalists find very difficult. Being original (the fetishization of the “scoop”, even if it’s only by five minutes) is vastly overpraised in journalism, and journalists as a group tend to imbue everything they do with an incredible amount of secrecy. Try asking a magazine writer what she’s working on: she probably won’t tell you. After all, you might scoop her!

...(this explains) to a very large extent the reason why academics took to the blogosphere with so much more alacrity than journalists, and why journalists-turned-bloggers can be pretty stingy with links and hat-tips, at least when they’re starting out.

Another media-related thought I wanted to share comes via James Fallows. We're told regularly (most recently on last night's 7.30 Report) that newspapers are dying. But that might be just one manifestation of a larger problem: the death of advertising.

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