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Wordblog revived

incorporating New Life

What is the purpose of eastern region newspaper blogs?

Wordblog had its origins as a media blog before I retired. Since then there have been several small attempts to revive it but I just could not find the subject which would work. Local affairs seemed interesting at times but I could not a rationale, or audience, which would make it worthwhile.

That changed on Monday evening when I went to Winston school room to hear Andrea Hill, chief exec of Suffolk Council Council talk about local government in an age of austerity. This is something which needs a much bigger debate than it has been getting, and that debate should not be only on the terms dictated by the council through its consultations.

The job of blogs, certainly the sort I write, is to engage in and foster debate. Certainly I achieved that with Wordblog in its media guise. The trade press included it in its list of the 12 most influential media blogs in the UK.

Successful blogging requires people to read and comment on your own posts. At the same time you must go out and comment on other blogs. You link to sources of information and comments whether on other blogs or elsewhere, in newspapers for example.

So, I find myself now looking for others with whom to engage in the conversation which is at the heart of blogging. This is how I came to be looking at blogs at the East Anglian Daily Times.

This leads me to revert to my media blogging days. Back in October 2006 I asked: What is the purpose of newspaper blogs? The response was immediate and I followed-up with several more posts on the topic. I like to think I played a part in rethinking the important role of blogging in national newspapers.

Now I am looking for East Anglian blogs with which to engage and naturally considered those on the East Anglian Daily Times site. There are eight of them and they   bring me back to the question: What is the purpose of newspaper blogs.

EADT blogs

  • The Psyclist — last updated September 2010
  • Unspun — a bit better with three posts this month
  • North Stander — two posts this month
  • StUs blog — three posts this month
  • Flying with Witches — the author announces “2011 and I’m back”. Nothing since then and the previous post was last September. This blog comes up on an Evening Star page.
  • Take One — The last post, in April last year asks: Has Hollywood run out of ideas? The author Andrew Clark clearly has.
  • Unmissable — last post in September last year. Obviously become a couch potato.
  • Dines Days — Surely there has been something to blog about from parliament since July 7 last year.  Compare with Nick Robinson’s blog at the BBC.

Perhaps this was an EADT thing so I took a look at the Evening Star in Ipswich. Much the same state of affairs there. Even EdBlog, by the editor Nigel Pickover who has written excellent posts in the past, has been silent since October last year.

The picture at the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich the picture is much the same. All three newspapers have the same over Archant, so it looks as if this has something to do with overall editorial direction.

In the four years since I asked the purpose of blogging in national newspapers there has been real progress. Blogs now provide a two-way conduit though which they engage with their readers.

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  1. Ed Walker says

    Good post Andrew and good points, so many regional/local papers have let blogs fall by the way-side on their websites. Yet, we’re in a great position to provide comment, analysis and insight into the news that is happening in our areas.

    I think a lot of the issue is where journalists are writing for the paper, this takes priority and the blog is just “something you update if you get chance” rather than being an integral part of starting debate.

    One of our top blogs on walesonline has been our fashion blog: http://blogs.walesonline.co.uk/catwalkhawk/ – but even that has slipped since Christmas (shall have to chase it up!) but there does seem to be a missed opportunity with blogs.