Friday, August 08, 2008

Wendy: No Blogs Period!

Yesterday I mentioned that Wendy McCaw blocks News-Press employees' access to various blogs, including my blog and Blogabarbara.

A number of people wrote in to inform me that it's not only a few select blogs she blocks access to, it's all blogs.

That includes sports blogs, blogs about community events and pages like YouTube and MySpace.

Look, I can understand why my blog might cut a little close to the bone for her, but to ban all blogs from the building?

While the woman prides herself on her awareness that, "young people today no longer wear watches," she doesn't seem to realize that they do read blogs.

Other mainstream media get it and are embracing blogs. (And I have to confess that I'm more than a little amused every time I see a newspaper or media organizations' website breathlessly trumpeting the fact that "we've got blogs!")

Just take a look at the L.A. Times website where last month blog traffic broke an all-time record of more than 12 million page views.

A lot of good journalism and good reporting is now done in the blogosphere. Remember Barack Obama's comments at a fundraiser about people in middle America clinging to their guns and religion? That was first reported by a blogger.

In the current media landscape, forcing your reporters to gather information and write stories without the benefit of access to blogs is a little like trying to play the piano without using any of the black keys. Sure, you can put together a melody but you're not going to be able to play any rich chords.

No wonder News-Press reporters are doing stories on broccoli.

Like it or not, blogs are now a force to be reckoned with. Just remember what happened to Dan Rather after his 60 Minutes report on George W. Bush's National Guard Service.

Blogs can serve as a check on traditional media by keeping them honest, just as traditional media can keep blogs honest.

Beware of anyone who fears the power of blogs. He or she could turn out to be less than honest.

I'll get off my soap box now.

* * *

If your vantage point for watching last Friday's Fiesta parade was anywhere in and around Ruby's Cafe, you might have seen these being handed out.

The Teamsters were giving them out to who anyone who was willing to take them.

Love the Union bug on those balloons.

* * *

And what about that ad running on craigslist seeking a "smart, industrious, intrepid reporter anxious to cover news about the federal government and Capital Hill," that had a lot of us wondering whether it was placed by the News-Press?

Turns out it wasn't placed by the News-Press nor did it have anything to do with journalism. One person who responded to the ad got a reply inviting him to "get started earning easy at home income today!"

Obviously, it wasn't for a position as a blogger either.