Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brummett says I am a Parasite and I Agree (UPDATE)

John Brummett writes about a familiar topic on his blog today, the troubled news industry and its relationship to bloggers. Brummett, continuing the parasitic cycle by quoting from Salon, says “if newspapers die, the coverage of news dies because the Internet is basically parasitic.” He goes on to write, “you have all these bloggers who boast of their greater relevance than newspapers even as 90 percent of what they presume to know comes straight out of a newspaper.”

In a sense, he is right. Although I am not sure if I would go as high as 90 percent, most of what I know comes from the research and shoe leather of beat reporters who work at the state capital for eight to twelve hours everyday of the week. Without the Rob Moritz’s and the Andrew DeMillo’s of the world, I would know very little about what is going on with our legislature. Sure, I do make a trip or two a week for hour or so to the state capital and pick up a couple interviews and tips of what is going on. I correspond by email and occasionally a phone call with our elected officials to get some direct information on a issue I am following. But for the most part, I let the pros do the leg work.

What the news industry needs to understand is that bloggers are not their competition. If anything my blog drives traffic to their online content. Many times my posts are more of a commercial for their actual story than anything else. The news companies that survive will be the ones that figure out that their business is the delivery of news information and then adapt their business model to deliver this information in the manner that consumers are demanding, whether that is in print, online, via twitter, or whatever the next big thing is. Brummett should be pleased to know that ArkansasNews.com is a good example of this. With their improved website, I now read most all of Brummett’s blog posts and columns.
UPDATE – I actually got to see inside Brummett’s lair today as I had a lunch with a friend of mine who works in his office building. We discussed his new venture into twittering and I highly encouraged him to start shooting some flip cam as well. I think he is considering it. That should be interesting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

100% in my case. But I don't think bloggers really claim otherwise, but as you point out, the relationship is less parasitic and more symbiotic. We drive people to their content in a way that they cannot legitimately do.