The journalism world is abuzz with blogs and blogging–has been for a couple of years now. In that, we at the Indy are no different. There is a fascination with this medium both in content (sites like Eschaton, Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos are becoming daily routines) and in concept. Ideas like Wikipedia, an open-source online encyclopedia written and edited by thousands of volunteers worldwide, are simply mind-blowing.
Like a lot of newspapers, we’ve looked for ways to adapt to the new environment while being mindful of our history, our mission and the expectations of our readers. Our instincts tell us that while new media are valuable (there are some of us who remember when the job involved molten lead), there is no technological substitute for good writing and solid reporting–things our readers expect whether they’re reading printed pages or a computer screen.
Last weekend at Converge South, a journalism and blogging conference in Greensboro that featured many of the folks on the cutting edge, those instincts were confirmed. While there was plenty of talk about the latest in RSS, wikis, podcasting and the growth of the ever-changing blogosphere, there was even more talk about trust, truthfulness, getting facts right, community involvement and hyper-local reporting.
There was also a rather candid assessment from even the most well-known and well-thought-of bloggers that no one has the definitive map to this new landscape.
Greensboro’s blogging community, though, has made a heck of a start in finding ways to get more people involved and connected to the betterment of their community. Check out Greensboro 101 (www.greensboro101.com) to see a well-done aggregation of this inventive array of bloggers. Part of the Greensboro community’s success was due to the Greensboro News & Record‘s willingness to embrace blogging rather than turn its nose up at it. Its editors realized that rather than seeing blogging as a threat, as so many members of our profession do, it can make us better. For all the eye-rolling in newspaperdom over the term “citizen journalist,” they do exist, and some are doing great work.
Recently, we took the plunge and, as many of you have already noticed, for the past couple of months we’ve been getting in the rhythm and practice of publishing something in addition to a weekly paper.
So pay a visit to Dent, our political and news blog, where this week we’ll be posting election results and wrap-ups. There’s also Scan, our music blog, where we’re running concert reviews, music news, sold-out show alerts and commentary. Both blogs are open to reader comments and feedback.