It’s up, out and shaking. Nervous editors, web designers and newspaper owners sphincters aquiver I’m sure. I do understand that most noodlepie readers will be scratching their heads as to why the hell the launch of a newspaper blog is so interesting to me. Well it is for at least three reasons which I’ll go into at a later date. For the moment, here’s the spin,
Comment is free is a major expansion of Guardian comment and analysis on the web. It is a collective group blog, bringing together regular columnists from the Guardian and Observer newspapers with other writers and commentators representing a wide range of experience and interests. The aim is to host an open-ended space for debate, dispute, argument and agreement and to invite users to comment on everything they read.
I understand there’ll be around 200 columnists. I can’t see them all listed at the moment. Good to see some investment in a Dan Chung photoblog though. Hope they expand the photo end of things. So… I’ve been chatting to a few people involved and on the peripherary of this. Is Comment is free the genesis of the future of newspapers?
I’m working on an opinion column for the UK press about how blogs, journalism and newspapers might marry in the future. Stems from bee theory and these raw thoughts,
Rethink newspapers. Give every journalist a blog. Journalists blog their features, columns, their hobbies, daft stories about the journey to work, photos of their cat, wotever – anything and everything they’re interested in. They tag their work. Section editors receive tagged submissions via an RSS like function. They edit for word count, spelling etc., they wiki through articles with the journalist and/or other editors and anyone else for that matter before forwarding final copy to the printing press/online portal. While printing presses, as we know them, remain with us.
All finished copy runs with a link to the journalist’s blog. An important new part of the journalist’s job will involve them making their notes, raw copy, interview transcripts, MP3’s, pictures etc. available and open for comments on their blog. Discussion of any given story can take place in the main body of the newspaper/newspaper blog, again using a comments-esque feature. Discussion is likely to spill over onto the journalist’s own blog.
NB: I do sometimes write for The Guardian, but they don’t pay much, give freebies or head massage.