Skip to content...
[]

New & Noteworthy

In this issue

Recent Issues

Search

Contributors

  • Toli Galanis
  • Alexis Krase
  • Akshay Jain
  • Andre Henry
  • Emily McFarlan
  • Kaitlin Jessing-Butz
  • Kat Ocampo
  • Lauren Dzura
  • Patrick Akhidenor
  • Trisha Chang
  • Sami Osman
  • Sara Williams
  • Vanessa Fica
  • Will McLean
  • Renee Alfuso
  • Briana Mowrey
  • Apostolia Pentogenis
  • K. Paul Mallasch
  • Michael W. Andersen
  • Jay Rosen

Syndicate

Thankfully the word “blog” is the same in many languages.

Our review of the blogging efforts at the top newspapers around the globe revealed surpisingly few that are active in the blogosphere, although here and there the practice is catching on. This is not a comprehensive search but a list of highlights— noteworthy blogging by newspapers outside North America. If you have additions or corrections, e-mail us.

Western Europe

The Guardian in England is among the most advanced of all newspapers online. Though they’ve got the standard blogs, like technology and news, the bloggers tend to be thorough writers with their own styles and voices. Ask Jack is a good example; readers e-mail Jack with technology questions, and something about him keeps his readers coming back.

The Guardian newest project is a large undertaking: Comment is free… is a group blog modeled on the Huffington Post in the U.S., with 200+ contributors including well known writers, public figures, and academics. The Guardian’s own columnists are thrown into the mix. No other national newspaper has tried something like that.

If you want to learn more about the workings of the Guardian’s blogs, check out this Q&A with the Guardian’s Director of Digital Publishing, Simon Waldman. In one response he claims:

“We actually have quite a few staff who have been keeping personal blogs for a while…I might be missing something, but I hardly ever see personal blogs from staff at other newspapers or media organisations. Frankly, unless you’ve kept a blog for a while, it’s very hard to understand the attraction of it and how to do it successfully.”

And the Guardian’s been at it for a while. Their first blog was launched in July 2001, simply titled “The Weblog.” The current incarnation—and my personal favorite—is- NewsBlog, which took over in September 2004. The original, ‘The Weblog’ is archived here.

The International Herald Tribune, owned by the New York Times and run from Paris, is doing some interesting and unique things with blogging. Earlier this year the editors launched Digital Dialogue, where IHT journalists pick topics and ask readers from around the world to comment. One post asks for opinions about the recording industry’s complaints against people who sell Ipods with their music libraries still intact. The next month they’re back with: “Are the French crazy to think that they can legislate “interoperability” in digital music? Or are they just ahead of the rest of the world?” The public that participates is international, and the correspondents that blog are themselves stationed all around the world. That makes the International Herald Tribune’s blog the first truly international blog by any newspaper. It wouldn’t be surprising to see other newspapers around the world follow suit. There’s a lot of potential there because the Web is “world wide.”

Two European newspapers are notable for stretching beyond the traditional uses for blogging. Le Monde, one of the leading dailies in France, allows users to create their own blogs to be published on the Le Monde site. There are a lot of photography blogs at the LeMonde site, like Acros, for example. The Spanish equivelent to this is Spain’s ABC, an online-only daily newspaper that has multiple blogs and allows users to create their own.

Also in Spain, El Mundo has a number of light-hearted spanish blogs like Smart Shopping, and a group blog for chefs called Cocina para levitar, in which each post describes a particular dish and offers a recipe and directions. El Mundo also has a very popular political blog by Victoria Prego, which has high activity at its comment section. El Mundo’s handling of comments shows their experience; rather than listing the number of comments—which often leads to the dreaded comments(0) tag— they just invite readers to “Opine o lea comentarios sobre este tema” or “Give your opinion or read commentary about this topic.”

The Times of London has 24 blogs by different writers that range in genre from a religion writer’s blog to a book club.

La Repubblica, a national newspaper in Italy, has seven blogs. Blog da Locri is politics and national affairs with an active comment section.

The Telegraph in the UK has thirteen bloggers, most of whom are foreign correspondents, including Peta Thornycroft - one of the last independent reporters in Zimbabwe. Upload is a group blog where three of the site’s editors “look at the perils and advantages of reporting online and how new technology is changing the media.”

Most recently, they reported: “Our blogs are expanding and there’s a lot of debate in the office about their function. Should we use them to break news stories or should they just be for comment? A significant proportion of the Telegraph’s coverage of the Danish cartoon row was here, likewise the Google censorship story…”

Eastern Europe

Special thanks to Jeremy Druker of Transitions Online for pointing out that SME, a daily newspaper in Slovakia, with a humongous selection of blogs and bloggers on the left hand side of the page. According to Jeremy, “they blog on an extensive array of topics, from poetry to politics, from science to food and health…Most of these, if not all, appear to outside bloggers rather than staffers”. Transitions Online, a publication in Prague that provides focus and coverage on post-communist states, is planning to launch a project to promote blogging across Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

*On a side note, if you’re ever looking for a newspaper from pretty much anywhere in the world, Nettizen is a pretty handy tool.

Canada

See Blue Plate Special’s overview by Mark Hamilton.

Australia and New Zealand.

Blue Plate Special has commissioned a post on newspaper blogging there.

Near East, India

It seems as though blogging rises by region rather than individual country. While blogs are booming in Europe and North America, there is not a single official Newspaper blog in the Middle East and North Africa. Perhaps the ‘freedom’ of a country’s press determines its ability to blog or not, because the technlogy for blogging is everywhere. In Iran, a journalist for an online publication was arrested for his blog in which he criticized the country’s leadership. Perhaps newspapers in this region of the world are afraid of starting “unfiltered” blogs on their sites. A look at the right-hand column of the Committee to Protect Bloggers site shows the shocking number of bloggers who are imprisoned or threatened, most of whom are in the Middle East and don’t work for official newspapers. With such a list it may be somewhat obvious why newspapers in the region avoid blogs.

The Times of India is one newspaper that stands out for having blogs on its site ( in English.) There are four. They can be found on the left-hand column, under a prominent heading. Two, Futuristics and Mindsport, are written by Times of India reporter Mukul Sharma. One is an opinion blog, the other is about brain-teasers. ‘My Times, My Voice’ is a relatively new blog started in January 2006, and already has 24 posts and 221 comments. The last one, Informer, is a compilation of posts by different writers in different genres. It has a Picture of the Day section, with commentaries. Rediff.com publishes India Abroad, and they have a number of blogs on their site, including the option to create your own blog. Blogging about sports and cricket is pretty big in India.

South America

Brazilian newspapers didn’t appear in that global top 100 newspapers list, but they’re leading the pack in terms of blogging. Three out of the four leading Brazilian newspapers have blogs (‘O Estado de So Paulo’ did not). Two major newspapers in Rio de Janeiro alone have blogs. Unfortunately O Globo requires registration to see theirs - so let’s take a look at Jornal Do Brasil. They’ve got ten; the more unique is cartoonist’s blog. Bruno Liberati, the cartoonist, is renowned in Brazil for his illustrations, and he’s a regular essayist at the paper. He uses his drawing to complete what he writes about as a critic, which could be art and music reviews or political polemic. Lastly, Folha de So Paulo has two fairly extensive blogs written in Portugese by two of the newspaper’s well known columnists. One of them, Josias de Souza writes a political blog that draws hundreds of comments.

Another blogging South American newspaper is El Mercurio, the oldest and most conservative newspaper in Chile. They have an editorial blog, as well as a special supplements section with blogs by the newspaper’s well known columnists. Both sections have an introductory message which encourages discussion and non-confrontational feedback in comments. Thanks to Rosario Lizana, a freelance writer and blogger based in Santiago, Chile for this information. Also check out her post on the impact and background of participative news blogs in Chile. Clarin, a newspaper in Argentina, had to put restrictions on comments on their weblog section. Shortly after the blog’s opening, it was receiving over 2000 comments a day, making the blog seem like a forum rather than a source of information according to Mariano Amartino, who maintains the site.

A final comment.

Oddly, many of the links above are to blog-type sites that aren’t truly blogs that provide links to other blogs and attract comments. With the exception of the Guardian and the Telegraph, none of the newspaper blogs above really link to anything outside of their own newspaper’s website. That’s short-sighted.

However many of the blogs discussed here are new, started up in January 2006. In a year the picture could be very different. Make that six months.

Sami Osman grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He's a Junior at NYU majoring in Journalism, with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and International Politics. Will McLean (hometown: Ocala, FL) is a Senior at NYU, and a Journalism major, with a minor in Spanish.

Comments (4)

El Comercio of Per is also beginning to highlight citizen journalism as Juan Arellano describes in Spanish.

You generalize hastily about Latin America, I think. Many, many Brazilian newspapers, magazines and other media Web sites, outside the handful of major metropolitan dailies you cite,feature blogs or blog-like, Web columns. And personal blogs by professional journalists are also extremely common. Among the most influential collective sites of this kind: No Minimo (‘at the very least’) and Observatorio da Impresa (‘press watch’), who motto is, “You’ll never look at a newspaper the same way again.” The World Social Forum, founded in Porto Alegre, RS, has finally got its Global News Watch project going. Finally, Google’s Orkut.com (now 78% Brazilian) has many, many huge communities discussing and carrying on citizen journalism.

Thanks for the links! I’ll include them in an aftermath section. We were looking at mainstream international newspaper blogs in order to reduce the US-centrism of the last issue, as with Hamilton’s post. The post was supposed to be the highlights of our research, not a comprehensive list. We started with this global top 100 newspapers list but it proved inadequate.

you missed the netherlands: de volkskrant one of the major newspapers has a blogsite where journalists and readers are blogging together: volkskrantblog
and NRC, another quality newspaper, has 12 blogs written by nrc-editors.

In belgium the newspaper de standaard has a lot of editorial blogs. they have also sponsored blogs written by financial analists (ING, Fortis, Dexia, KBC))

In germany the rheinische post has a readersblogsite called opinio. opinio is also a monthly printed edition.