Our company’s star editor, Chris Cobler of the Greeley Tribune, sent us this message:
It’s fun to see three Swift editors on this list at presslink, the well-known media site run by Jay Rosen:
The list appears with a story about the editor in Greensboro, N.C., who blogs:
Well, that’s cool. It’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of Jay Rosen. But he’s a pretty influential scholar in my biz. I last remember him as a major proponent of the now antiquated concept dubbed “civic journalism” in the early to mid-1990s. Eugene Roberts, the legend at the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times back in the day, snickered at that. Essentially, he called it doing your job. He was closer to the mark, although I had fun bringing in “ordinary” people to talk about the big issues of our communities and covered those as the genuine stories they were and are.
Anyway, Jay and his students apparently went searching for blogs written by editors. Apparently there are a few of those, including three from our company, Swift Newspapers, out of the nine listed in his report.
Our blog is listed third, just under Chris’. Here’s what Jay’s crew had to say about it:
“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.”
Ouch. It’s true that our comments section across our Web site ” still a new feature ” don’t get a lot of traffic. Slowly, though, that’s changing. I recall it took about two years before folks realized we had taken over local commentary in the Vail Valley from the Vail Trail. Only then did the letters to the editor and calls to the Tipsline call-in forum begin to pick up. Four years later, participation is still growing.
Also, as print readers know, I also write editorials, Quick Takes columns and a weekly personal column for print and Web, in addition to this diary. As far as I know, Chris just blogs these days. He has enough staff to keep up with the commentaries in print.
What I shouldn’t say is this: I couldn’t care less whether you read me or not. If comments were key for the blog at this point, I’d lace every other sentence with key words like immigration, sex, Kobe Bryant, Vail celebrity watch, sex (did I mention sex?) and weird crime.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Haven’t heard from a Kobe freak in over a year now, and they used to overwhelm our servers before the rape case against him was dismissed and we had every major news outfit camped in town.
Perhaps Eagle County is finally free of the lout. His coach, Phil Jackson, has a much more positive connection to us. He’s the honorary chairman of a foundation called Swift Eagle dedicated to helping locals, as opposed to ol’ Kobe’s intentions at the hotel that night.
Most of the eds’ blogs bore me, frankly, although I’m quite sure that they are on a better track, or at least a more focused track. This blog wanders all over the place. Politics, personal diary, newspaper issues, along with a Blog 2 that aims to serialize my book from even before I know what it will be about, through the doodling and research that comes before the grand event of actually writing, through the writing and onward.
The stuff that sticks to a theme ” well, snore ” but maybe that’s the ADD talking. I’m more interested in life than ghastly subjects like the future of journalism. Gawd.
But that view is not shared. The Web is about mining for your specific interest. Leave the eclectic exploration to flipping through pages of newsprint, hoping for a surprise or pearl you never figured on stumbling upon.
So I’m not sure that anything and everything postings like these will ever be especially popular. But you never know. At root, it’s great exercise. And for those who care to know the kooks putting their newspaper together, there’s some value.
It’s fun anyway.
We’ve changed this corner of the Web site, too. Instead of one editor’s blog, this have become an editors’ blog. Assistant Managing Editor Alex Miller, City Editor Matt Zalaznick, and Web Editor Austin Richardson have begun to post here, too. Each has an active interest in community and politics, so I expect they’ll breathe a lot of life into this section. Lord knows, I run out of time for writing ” never mind all the other forums I try to keep up in addition to trying to ride herd over this cast of newsies.
They really are almost as much fun as blogging.
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