07 October 2006

Blogging and the Future of Academia

Substitute "printed philosophy" for "print media", and you have a description of what will happen, too, in academia, and in some disciplines already has happened. The role of blogs is arguably even more important for us, because of the origin of academia in discussion and debate.

From an article in Editor and Publisher:

Downie said that when it first became apparent that the Internet would change the news business, executives and editors worried that its influence would erode the quality of journalism, increase competition, and become a distraction for the reporters and editors working on the print edition of the paper. But he said instead that the increased focus on the Web has "improved journalism a lot, way more than we could have expected."

He said that the 24/7 news cycle has changed his newsroom for the better, with reporters always tuned in to what's happening and constantly trying to find stories to report for the Web site -- and that reporters could add more detail because the Web had "unlimited newshole."

"I was known for writing long as a reporter, I edit long, and now there's a place to put it all," he said.

Reporters love newsroom blogs, said Downie, because they put writers in better touch with their readers: "Everyone in our newsroom wants to be a blogger."

And the blogs that pick apart every article that the Post produces are a good thing, said Downie, because they "keep the paper honest" and, even if their commentary isn't positive, bring people to the site.


Downie speculated that perhaps in the future content sharing between old media and new media would be less of a one-way street, with print media taking cues and integrating ideas from multimedia integration and blogs.