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Blogging and talking about mainstream media

WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha and MinnPost journalist Eric Black
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha listens to MinnPost journalist Eric Black during Thursday night’s Bloginar.

WCCO-TV, for evil purposes that only it knows, invited a few dozen independent bloggers to a Dunn Bros. in downtown Minneapolis to listen last night to likeable ‘CCO reporter/blogger Jason DeRusha and your humble ink-stained wretch talk about our fabulous careers, especially the contrast between working for mainstream traditional news media and blogging.

They called it a “bloginar” (copyright pending on that word, which I take to be a combination of blog and seminar).

DeRusha did most of the talking and was very funny. I tried to shock the audience by ranting against the so-called objectivity paradigm that I believe is a “spent force.” (I stole that phrase from a Canadian journalism professor I heard talk last year.) But, perhaps because they were a bunch of bloggers, the audience wasn’t too shocked.

There was something close to consensus (translation: no one openly disagreed with me when I said this) that the traditional news media are dying, that online media are really cool, both for those who write for it and those who read it, but that so far no one can describe the business model that will enable purveyors of online news to pay a staff of reporters in the adorable way that newspapers did in the previous 35 years of my fabulous career. MinnPost, in case you don’t know, is a noble experiment along those lines.

‘CCO’s online guru, John Daenzer, appears to be trying to organize the bloggers into a small network to collectively sell online advertising, so perhaps that will take care of it. The handout said participants in the network can expect to “generate a target of $1.25 for every thousand impressions on your site,” so perhaps that won’t take care of it.

Everyone in the audience was technologically ahead of me and the gap has only grown since yesterday. ‘CCO rewarded me with a Dunn Bros gift card. I can’t tell how much is on there but it’s more than I was promised.

Eric Black writes about national and state politics, foreign affairs and other topics. He can be reached at eblack [at] minnpost [dot] com.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Sally Rolczynski on 07/18/2008 - 05:11 pm.

    I am a loyal reader of the Star Tribune newspaper. I also enjoy reading MinnPost. And I am a big fan of Don Shelby.

    I fear the decline of newspapers, local television news and radio. What blogger is going to quit their job and fly themselves to Iraq to give me an impartial view of the situation?

    I believe it would be wise for ‘old media’ to work together to cover the news as cost-efficiently as possible. It seems bloggers are taking advantage of the old media model for now. What are they going to do without it?

  2. Submitted by Mike Keliher on 07/18/2008 - 01:30 pm.

    I’m really bummed I missed it. Hopefully I’ll catch the next one — if there is a next one.

  3. Submitted by Barbara Miller on 07/18/2008 - 12:49 pm.

    You know, there is something truly heartwarming about being able to check the little box by the comment log in that says, “Remember me for two weeks.” It helps me transcend the growing belief as a blogaholic that my 15 minutes has come and gone and that I/we still exist.

    Eric, FWIW, the Strib screwed up royally when it parted company with you (when you left to pursue other interests, whatever).

    Bless you for being out there on behalf of the bloggerhood. I totally get the rapidly growing technology gap thingie. Crikey!

    Write on!

  4. Submitted by Barbara Miller on 07/18/2008 - 12:51 pm.

    Shameless self-promotion moment:

    You know that thing about the technology gap? Forgot to add a link to my blog in the above comment.

    Tortoise Woman in Race Among Hares

  5. Submitted by Rick Ellis on 07/23/2008 - 01:26 am.

    At first, I was going to say that I’m annoyed that I wasn’t invited. Although now that I’ve heard about CCO’s online network, I don’t think I would have been a good fit.

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