“Pay no mind to what they say…”

WXIA blogsHere’s the problem: Blogging takes time.  Even bloggers complain that they don’t have time to blog.

Blogging also requires a leap of faith:  If I write it, will anybody actually read it?  And if they do, so what?  Is it better to Twitter instead?  Some Twitterers would argue that blogging is soooo 2007.

We killed an hour rooting around Atlanta TV websites looking for blogs.  They were easy to find on WGCL’s site.  They were difficult to find on WSB, WAGA and WXIA’s sites.  One of the few reporters to post recently was WXIA anchor Jill Becker, who blogged about blogging:

” I haven’t been totally resistant to the new technology.  I’m blogging right now—that’s something, right?  But i have to wonder…are people still reading blogs?  Is blogging quick enough, instant enough, gadgety enough? I wonder, almost fear, that I am technically illiterate.  I want to (sort of) venture into the new forms of communication, but I’m fairly certain it will be with baby steps, one “tweet” at a time…. Would I get followers?  Would anybody care?”

Here’s the problem:  Not only does blogging take time, but there are other hurdles.  The content has to be interesting enough to encourage the reader to return.  And the posts have to be updated regularly.  Otherwise, readers will forget about you.wgcl blogs

This would help explain why Atlanta’s TV reporters have blogged rather poorly:  Their jobs are too demanding.  Every TV station has had blogs.  WGCL is the latest station to engage in a blogging kick.  Go to the “news” page of WGCL’s web site, and you’ll find the word “BLOGS” in all caps on the left toolbar.  WGCL has set up WordPress blogs for some of its reporters.

Some folks may find WGCL’s blogs compelling.  Mostly, they’re not our cup of tea.

Stephany Fisher tends to write straight-up synopses of her health alert stories.

Kenny Rogers with Adam Murphy

Kenny Rogers with Adam Murphy

Adam Murphy challenges the gag reflex by posting photos of himself with celebrities.

Kim Fettig promotes charitable causes and good works.  Though she overuses exclamation marks, Fettig doesn’t overwrite and may have the most readable blog on WGCL’s site.  It’s faint praise, though.

Years ago, we remember reading a blog by Jeff Dore on WSB’s web site.  Dore is one of Atlanta  TV’s cleverest writers and coolest dudes.  We recall thinking:  “Wow.  I wonder if WAGA would let me write a blog that honestly examines the TV news biz?”  We never asked, because experience had taught us that such stuff wouldn’t have been appreciated by the folks who assign stories, negotiate contracts and send timesheets to the payroll department.

Regrettably, WSB no longer has a Jeff Dore blog.  The only blog we can find on WSB’s site belongs to weather guy David Chandley.  It’s about – weather.

WAGA has bloggers, but they rarely post.  Karen Graham and Mark Hayes last posted in April.  Dale Russell, who has been known to post interesting behind-the-scenes stuff about investigative reporting,  hasn’t posted since Thanksgiving.

Even anchor Tom Haynes, who had devotedly blogged for viewer feedback on stories, has no blog linked to his bio.  Maybe it’s gone away, or we’re just too dim to find it on WAGA’s site.  (Update:  Just found it here.   It’s called the Fox News Edge blog.  It’s not linked to Haynes’ bio, but it’s on WAGA’s home page.)

Curiously, WXIA’s blogs are next-to-impossible to find on their site (though, again, it may be due to our knuckleheadedness).  This is puzzling, given WXIA’s devotion to melding its TV and web presence.  It appears their reporters can contribute to a combined “news” blog, but nothing that distinguishes them individually.   For example, Jaye Watson has blogged insightfully about coverage of difficult stories.  Want to find Jaye Watson’s blog?  Good luck.

Like we said:  Blogs take time.  WGCL’s bloggers will probably lose interest soon as the crush of work overtakes them.  And seriously, does anybody really want to read this stuff anyway?

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

16 thoughts on ““Pay no mind to what they say…”

  1. griftdrift

    Old Kenny Rogers = comfy old uncle

    New Kenny Rogers = freaky looking human/alien hybrid

    Two hints I would tack on to your already good advice. These could help your cohorts jerk forward a little further:

    1. Blogs are ID (for the most part). The most effective ones are near stream of conscious what’s on your mind at the moment. If you’re trying too hard, you’re not going to produce.

    2. People are curious about behind the scenes. It’s why Live Apartment Fire and Political Insider are so popular. They give us peeks into worlds we never see. The weather is interesting. A story about the day an intern thought the doppler was showing images of ETs landing in Alpharetta is fascinating.

    By the way, I do consulting. Frequently in exchange for beer. Since I’m not in the bidness, I have no morality about payola. Get enough liquor in me and I’ll probably tell you every secret I know. And I used to work for the government!

    Reply
  2. Dave

    Interesting that you should bring this up. Just recently I signed up on Twitter. As I was going through to see who to follow, I searched for the local stations and only found WXIA & WGCL. I’m not a news watcher anymore, now that I’m out of the business, primarily because I don’t care about news that doesn’t affect me, but I still like knowing what’s going on locally. I’ve found that at least through the Twitter updates, I can look through and see stories that interest me and follow the link to read more.

    I’m surprised that WAGA & WSB are not on Twitter. Although, I know some of the reporters are on there, I still couldn’t find any of the ones I was looking for. I also find it frustrating when going to WSB’s site to find out more information on a particular story, only to find video of the story that aired. I’m looking for more details and maybe a link or two. I particularly remember a story about changes in the school system and a bill being passed through the state legislature, but only found the video on the site. No links to find out the details as to the specifics of the bill. For a station that promotes itself as providing “More Details”, “Complete Coverage”, & “Coverage You Can Count On”, they don’t deliver on their promise.

    As for blogs, I totally agree, you need to provide updates on a regular basis and have some value to your audience. Even if it’s a small audience. You’ve got to provide your audience with something that will bring them back again and again. Having been in TV News, I check up on LAF, because I want to read up on what’s happening behind the cameras. The stories themselves mean nothing to me, but a critique of the newscast or a particular story, I’m all in. Those of us that have worked in the business have all done this at one time or another and I’m not going to watch every newscast, so if LAF can do it for me, great. I’ll keep reading and coming back.

    I also want to applaud WXIA and WGCL on their willingness to experiment with new media, twitter & blogging. These are different times and you need to try new things and experiment for a while. After all it’s free and you’re only investment is time, but that alone can help build some equity in your brand and even attract new viewers. Those that don’t adapt, will soon be left behind. I may not watch your newscasts, but through Twitter, you’ve got me following you and when I want to read a story you’ve posted, I’ll click on the link to your site. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a viewer and that’s one more viewer than WAGA or WSB. It all starts with one.

    Reply
  3. Steve Barton

    May I recommend Jerry’s Journey by Jerry Carnes of WXIA. He has been writing for almost a year on WXIA’s site on his trial by prostate cancer. It isn’t about the TV news biz, but it is good writing by a pro in the Atlanta market. Here: http://tinyurl.com/jerrysjourney

    Reply
  4. steve schwaid

    If you want to see more blogs go to our home page and click on interactive. Then click on Blog Stew.

    We’re working to provide a local entry/search tool for folks to search local blogs for topics they’re interested in.

    The search engine is almost ready – right now we have a list of local blogs and some bloggers are giving us video to help promote their sites.

    If anyone has constructive ideas to improve it please pass them along. (I’m sure Ezra will have one or two.)

    Reply
    1. Stu G.

      Hey Stevie Wunderrr
      Are you paying the reporters to provide you content ? In fact…are you paying your reporters in general ?
      Just like my grand mammy used to say…
      you get what you pay for…
      Its not every going to look , smell, or taste like chicken salad…

      Reply
  5. Prophet Ezra

    1 Timothy 1:7

    They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    Reply
  6. Element

    Ya know sometimes I just don’t even know what you jackals are talking about anymore. Do you? Grift, Stu, Ezra; WTF are you talking about? Really?

    Anyway- BLOGS: B.efore L.ong O.utdated G.ossip S.ites. That’s it! At best(LAF), just another passing entertainment fad. NOT journalism. Never was, never will be. Not on the way in, but on the way out (proven by how often they’re updated).

    “Yea WGCL” for trying to stable a bunch of angry closet freaks & capitalize on “citizen journalists”, AKA- citizens with agendas. Since when did it become okay to ally one’s self with partisan wack-jobs? What happens when citizen “A” reads, and disagrees with, citizen “B”‘s blog, found on WGCL’s web site? All citizen “A” knows it that he read it on WGCL’s website. And that’s all he needs to know to never watch, read or click WGCL ever again because he’s angry about what WGCL “wrote”. Guilt, right or wrong, by association. Even if it is just a BLOG rant.

    Reply
  7. CB Hackworth

    The local TV websites are all cumbersome and ugly.

    The one edge that they ought to have — their video content — is lost in rest of the garbage (unlike, say, YouTube), which shows that they have yet to grasp new media at all.

    Asking already overworked reporters to produce blogs worth reading is probably hoping for a bit much. They are already working hard enough to try to get something worth watching on TV every day.

    Reply

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