Interesting to see that big media companies are recruiting some of the top bloggers to write for them. This is a clever move for two reasons:

(1) Some bloggers write really well and can bring a more conversational style of writing to the sometimes-turgid world of newsprint, and
(2) Bloggers are excellent at promoting their writings and bring their established and loyal reader-networks to their new columns.

The second is key, because no-one knows how to promote their blogs better than a blogger. Some bloggers are good writers, but also excellent marketers… something many traditional journalists don’t really dabble in. Bloggers have to be good marketers to get their blogs known and out there. They don’t have marketing departments behind them (not yet, anyhow).

Here are two recent examples: the first, where Brian Stelter, the TVNewser blogger and a 21-year-old college grad, has joined the New York Times. (Thanks Mac Slocum)

And the second, closer to home, where the new Times are recruiting what they call ‘blogumists’ to write for them, including well-known local bloggers Paul Jacobson, Tertia Albertyn, Nikki Friedman, Jon Cherry and others. Hats off.

5 Responses to “Bloggers on the payroll of big media”
  1. I think that in South Africa, not many, especially students, are interested in it.

    I was, however, surprised to see that even Pierre de Vos, Western Cape University law Professor, is a blogger and has a blog. I’m writing an article on my university student newspaper to inform students about blogging and how fun it can be.

    Your post will help me in my article. Thanks

  2. […] And our blogumist strategy has been blogged about by the M&G’s online boss, Matthew Buckland. Check out what he has to say about us and the New York Times. […]

  3. Thanks for including me in the ‘well known’ pile. I had a bit of a giggle about that. 😉

  4. Thanks for the mention Matt. While I don’t really see this as the beginning of the end for journos and the rise of the blogger, I like the idea of mixing blogs and a mainstream paper and I am looking forward to seeing how the online version of The Times does compared to the print edition and what impact this initiative has on our blogs.

  5. Hey Matt. Yip, more of traditional media are opening up to new ways of communicating, publishing and marketing…and adding bloggers to their “payroll” is indeed a clever way of not only testing the medium but also, in a somewhat safe way, seeing how blogging fits into their comm strat. But, this is true with any sort of “blog marketing”, even some consumer brand blog marketing that’s hitting the local, and for a while the international scene.

    If we look at your examples above, we see that a good combination of writing skill, journalistic flare, and publication fit can have potentially good results, for both publications and brands. It’s certainly something that more journalists – and companies – should take note of.

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