Monday, November 28, 2005

Blogging's PR Problem

While entertaining guests last night friends told us about how their son is taking part in a very highly regarded school paper at the local middle school. I asked about whether the paper has started moving into more interactive media such as blogging.

They haven't.

But the response surprised me. The parent, who also happens to be in the media industry, once working for a wire service and now handling PR and marketing for a prominent local hospital, said that the problem with blogs is that it doesn't teach kids about editing.

Many blogs, including this one, exist without editors. But that doesn't mean all of them do or even should. This is the classic genre vs. medium debate. Blogging is a medium, not a genre.

I believe that blogging can be used to help teach students about journalism. It enables students to get their stories out without forcing them to deal with the significant cost pressures associated with creating a printed product.

That said, I still think the students need to learn the basics of journalism, including multiple sources, proper editing, AP Style, etc.

The problem for the blogosphere is helping people understand the possibilities of this medium, not its limitations.

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