Blogging one Reno
Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
OK, it’s Monday. I’m gearing up for our candidate debate on Thursday, but oddly, we won’t be able to report on it in the paper until a week after it happens. We’ve assigned a story to one of our interns, so there’ll be a piece on it next week.
That’s the drawback to having a weekly newspaper. It’s very hard to be up-to-the-minute as a weekly; just as it’s hard to be up-to-the-minute as a daily newspaper, in comparison to television; just as it’s hard to be up-to-the-minute as a traditional TV news network when compared to TV cable. There’s one group of journalists who do not have any of these “timeliness” issues: bloggers.
I spent the weekend at a conference of alternative journalists discussing the methods many of my colleagues have used to take advantage of the blogosphere to speed up reporting, enhance dialogue and improve communities. I’ve been watching national blogs for years. I’ve only recently begun keeping tabs on the local blogs, trying to figure out what works, what drives dialogue, what motivates bloggers and what motivates trolls (a troll is an anonymous blogger who attacks from the shadows but doesn’t contribute to the conversation).
There are some substantial differences between the way newspapers handle blogs and the way bloggers handle blogs. Original reporting is somewhat rare on the blogs. There are some local exceptions, for example, Mr. Jerz, mrjerz.org, interviewed a Nevada Assembly candidate, David Bobzien (although I’ve been having some difficulty downloading the podcast). Two guys over at Twelve Horses, Josh Kenzer and Robert Payne, produce well-conducted podcasts of interviews with local luminaries (including one with me) at twelvehorses.typepad.com.
On the other hand, insightful opinion is pretty easy to find on the blogs. Myrna the Minx, renodiscontent.com, offers some of Reno’s most relevant observations and commentary. It’s pretty easy to find the less relevant stuff as well.