By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Personal journalism

Dr. Denny says he’d pay a blogger $191 a year to cover his community. And what if hyperlocal bloggers cobble together user fees with advertising? “Just maybe that advertising income, paired with the subscription money, will allow you to make a living, live in a community you grow to like, raise a couple kids and become a respected journalist,” he writes.

Not a bad idea.

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  1. Joe Keohane

    It’s a pretty enough idea, but it suggests that the only thing keeping bloggers from becoming respected journalists is a salary, and not, say, an editor.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Joe: Years ago, you could have found plenty of tiny community weeklies that were one-person shops. There are still a few around. Are they not journalists because they don’t have editors? Does it matter if they call themselves “editor and publisher” even though they have no employees?

  3. Steve

    Joe: the only thing keeping bloggers from becoming respected journalists is a salaryYou forgot the “journalism” – going out and actually gathering news, instead of sitting at your computer, getting news from someone else and aggregating or commenting on it.That’s the work that’s worth the salary.

  4. Joe Keohane

    Dan,Fair enough, but what matters is that they know what they’re doing. Sure there were lots of one-man shops around years ago, but many of those guys had prior experience in journalism. As for the others, the act of starting a paper didn’t make them journalists any more than giving a blogger a stipend makes him/her one. Hard work and experience did.Maybe I was unclear. When I said editor, I was speaking literally and figuratively. An editor in the sense of someone who sets and polices standards, and who teaches the journalist how to do his job better.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Joe: I’m not sure you fully appreciate how bad some of these papers could be, or how completely inexperienced in journalism these papers were.

  6. Joe Keohane

    Dan, I think we’re whizzing by one another here. My point, simply stated, is this: Professional experience is more important than Dr. Denny’s proposal suggests it is. The idea that the mere act of paying someone to blog will make them a respected journalist seems criminally oversimplified.

  7. Stella

    Somebody somewhere has apply an experienced eye and use judgment.

  8. joe schmo

    Would Dr. Denny still pay that $191/yr if he thought the local blogger was a terrible journalist and completely full of it?

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