Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Media + New Media and the new age journalist?

Was listening to an old episode of Buzz Out Loud (timestamp 39:30) on the way to work and there was a really interesting discussion about the relationship between blogs and traditional news media.

You can click on the link above to listen to it (and if you're interested in PR and media etc., you should!) But an interesting point was brought up that some newspapers (in the US) could benefit from giving their journalists blogs, and these blogs could allow entirely credible media (say WSJ) to cover stuff that they normally wouldn't cover in print. Or provide opinions or commentary that wouldn't make it in print.

Would this sort of dynamic would work here in Malaysia (thanks to our own laws and controls over media)? I believe it can. I know at the moment when we say "blogs" people think "politics / opposition" but blogs don't necessarily need to cover potentially inflamatory topics like politics, race and religion; rather, they could serve a supplementary role to whatever hard news gets published in the actual print.

If you know me, you know I've been talking about this for the longest time. Newspapers could give their Tech Editors a blog and see where that takes them. A while back, The Sun had blogs setup for their editors (I've lost the link, if you have it and it's still alive, could you post it in the comments?) At least one local tech publication I know has a blog - check out The Zone.

Yes, I know many journalists have blogs of their own, but personally (as a reader), I'm interested in seeing the crossover between printed medium and the online happen. The print mag / paper is your product, but the online blog is the conversation that let's us engage with the people behind the product.

Especially for mags ( and I believe for pullouts), the community you build around your readers is going to be crucial to the success of the publication. In the old world, you'd put out a product and count your readers by subscriptions. In the new world, subscription and circulation numbers don't go away, but the web will let you make that connection with readers / fans in a way print doesn't.

By "connection" I mean this: Journalists have started to become personalities, and I think this is probably due to the way blogs affect publishing. I loved John C. Dvorak's column in PC Mag (the Malaysian Edition is now defunct). Now, even if I can't read his column, I'm able to follow his blog. I'm not just reading PC Mag, I'm reading Dvorak. In the same way, I'm listening to Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, Don Risinger and all these other really intelligent techy people. It started with a podcast or a blog, but I now follow them on Twitter as well.

I also follow some of our very good local tech editors like aggromonkey, fatcatlim and, across the causeway, eBolasaurus.

At the end of the day, I guess you could say it's about reading credible stuff intelligent people put up, regardless of whether its in print or online through blogs. But there's space for both and I think blogs convey a personality, opinion and enables feedback in a way print can't (technically, you could still write letters to the editor).


eyeris said...

Personally, I use the blog to write stuff I normally wouldn't be able to write about or WOULDN'T write about in the paper.

though I've also 'stolen' some stuff from the blog to use in the paper, especially the movie reviews... hehehe. SHHHHHHH.

davidlian said...

@eyeris: True, and there's a lot of that going around not just in Malaysia, but the world. Even fake Steve Jobs was a journalist writing in alias.

But I'd like to see more "sanctioning" of blogs by newspapers, magazines and other media institution. I think it'll help journalists become more than just a by-line and actually build interest again for the institution.