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  • 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


M.J. Akbar of India’s Asian Age blogs at Bylines, Books & War Blog, where he writes every week or so on politics and society (e.g. Danish Cartoons or selecting the Indian cricket team. The nature of his posts makes me wonder if they’re reprints of columns he writes for the paper. He rarely draws comments and his blog is hampered by poor site design, although the writing itself is very interesting. In short, this content could go in the newspaper with no trouble—it’s a mixture of a column and a blog.

Chris Cobler edits Colorado’s Greeley Tribune, and blogged at Virtual Greality until being granted a Nieman fellowhip. He updated most days, writing engagingly about debates in the Tribune newsroom and the broader challenges facing news—it seems like a combination of PressThink and an ombudsman. The comments section is also very active—most posts get at least 20 comments, and some several times that, with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Cobler responds in comments as well.

Don Rogers edits the Vail Daily, and also maintains Off the Press, a blog of press commentary, often focusing on the Vail Daily, interspersed with entries about his daily life and the novel he plans on writing. Vail Daily is owned by Swift Newspapers, which also owns the Greeley Tribune, but neither Rogers nor Cobler is forced to blog. Unlike Cobler’s blog, the comments section here is lifeless. Rogers doesn’t update as frequently as Cobler, but usually posts 2-3 times per week.

Melanie Sill is the executive editor of the Raleigh News & Observer. She blogs at The Editor’s Blog, which bills itself as “a conversation with N&O readers about…coverage”. The entries are almost all about the N&O itself (its reaction to the Danish cartoons, debates over its front page, and so on). The blog gives readers a window into the creation of the paper—interesting mainly for N&O devotees. Her posts usually get 10 comments or fewer, mainly from a few recurring cranks and critics.

John Temple is the editor of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and blogs at Editor’s Blog. There, he writes on most weekdays about issues facing the media, and specifically how they affect the Rocky. The blog frequently features Temple’s personal opinions on press issues of the day, so the blog is interesting and relevant even if the reader doesn’t know much about Denver. The comments section doesn’t reflect this, however, with many posts getting fewer than 10.

Pat Butler is the editor of The Union in western Nevada County, CA and blogs at Editor’s Blog. He writes near-daily about the decisions made by the paper (Publish the Danish cartoons? Cover Cheney’s hunting mishap?) as well as events within the newsroom (for instance, a visit from a state senator). The comments section was moribund, with most posts getting only a handful. Interestingly, his posts were very willing to show opinion on non-media issues (e.g. this response about big-box retail).

Ryan Tuck is the editor of U-NC’s Daily Tar Heel and blogs daily at A Word from the Editor, mostly about procedural issues at the 40,000-circ. daily (e.g. new public editor, new PDF edition) or personal notes about good things to read or life in general. He also posts the letters to the editor for people to comment on, though almost nobody takes up the opportunity. The blog is primarily used as a resource for those looking for information about the paper.

Jack McElroy edits the Knoxville, TN News-Sentinel and recently began blogging at The Upfront Page. He blogs about the paper itself, such as its columnist balance and what goes on the front page, but also discusses larger issues relating to the future of newspapers. The blog is written in a very personal tone, which is extremely readable; it also has a great site design. Most entries get five comments or fewer, but the blog is young.

This last is a different category, but…

Keven Ann Willey is editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News; she and 11 other editorial page staffers/writers have a group blog called Dallas Morning Views where they maintain an ongoing conversation about editorial page decisions. For instance, they have a multiple post debate about the Danish cartoon scandal and how the editorial they published handled it—it gave readers a fascinating insight into their negotiations over the editorial page. No comments are allowed; however, there is a link to email the authors.

Notes and Links

Dan Miller is a graduating senior at American University and maintains a personal blog which is hosted at TPM Cafe. He lives and searches for work in Washington, DC.

Comments (4)

> The comments section was moribund

It’s hard for a conversation to thrive when comments are displayed like this (same software is used by Greeley Trib and by The Union, both of which are owned by Swift Newspapers; thus it’s likely that the editors have no control over the formatting)

> Interestingly, his posts were very willing to show opinion on non-media issues

You don’t know Nevada County…we are rich beyond measure in non-media issues. And IMO weighing in on them is not outside the editor’s job description (Swift does say that its publishers and mgmt staff are “leaders in their communities”)

(disclosure: I still have not met Pat B. in person, but we have corresponded. briefly.)

Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

You may like to preview a story that will be featured in the April edition of The World’s First Multi-National e-Book:

Hi, Anna (and others). I just wanted to clarify—I certainly wasn’t chastising Butler for his inclusion of opinion; I was just mentioning it because it was somewhat unusual amongst the editors’ blogs I found. As for the commenting format, I agree. I think the system he was using was based on Slashdot’s comment section, but it’s much better suited for that high-traffic site than this one. Threaded comments where you can read all of them at once (as in Scoop) are much easier for readers.

Dan, “others” are comment spam; y’all will need someone monitoring the comments and deleting those that are far from the topic at hand.

Interesting idea, that Swift’s hierarchical-to-a-fault comments format is based on Slashdot. I’m not so sure “make it like Slashdot” was the motivation though; for one thing, the comments are moderated(pass/fail) by a staffer before they’re posted (an approach that Steve Yelvington said just doesn’t work(he covers comment strategies toward the end), with considerable delays); and for another, Slashdot displays its “above-threshold-quality” comments in their entirety, doesn’t restrict its display to only the chunk that the commenter could pack into his/her first breath.
(apologies for the imagery )

So I believe (especially given negative feedback on the format from commenters, and the near-insurmountable barrier it poses to readers) that it was done to hold on to the paper’s communication asymmetry.
(which, all things considered, might not be the worst choice)

I’d be curious to know the actual reasoning though (the reason provided for moving from WordPress to their current blog-and-comment platform, “[to] make it easier to read and skip from entry to entry”, seems unlikely); should you or another Blue Plate Specialist find out, please share.

Thanks for the article and for your response, and for the Brief history of Scoop link.
(In exchange, here are notes on Clay Shirky’s Etech talk proposing a “Pattern Language for Moderation Strategies” for comments.)