Megan Taylor

web developer, hack-n-slasher, freelancer, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

More on packaged journalism

Thinking more about programming in journalism (not computer programming, the one we associate more with radio and television) I realized there are a few things news organizations are doing that are really similar to the concept of packaging news with an identity: blogs.

At most organizations, news blogs aren’t structured around an identity. Instead they are topical. Which could be better, in some ways, what I really hate about TV news is all the self-promoting, self-congratulatory anchors and show hosts. Sometimes, identity is a bad thing.

So I was poking around several news Web sites looking for good blogs, when I stumbled upon USA Today’s “communities.” The Community Center blog (keeping you apprised of conversations and opportunities on the site where readers are getting involved with USATODAY’s daily journalism) is a hub for the other blogs on the site, which look suspiciously like beatblogs to me.

Each blog has a designated author (or small group of authors) and appear to be updated several times a day.

But something bothers me. Which of these things is at all like the other?

    game-hunters-usatodaycom
  • technology-live-usatodaycom
  • cruise-log-usatodaycom

I really like the Interactivity blog – just wish it looked as nice as some of the others.

2 Comments

  1. I really like the USAT ‘communities,’ too, though I work there, so maybe I’m biased. I see the point about the different designs, but we’re slowly going to move all of our successful blogs (as well as some new ones) to the new format. So, soon they’ll all look like the Game Hunters community you featured. It’s a work in progress, but so far, I think most of the newest communities have definitely worked hard to fulfill their reader interaction missions.

  2. I really like the USAT ‘communities,’ too, though I work there, so maybe I’m biased. I see the point about the different designs, but we’re slowly going to move all of our successful blogs (as well as some new ones) to the new format. So, soon they’ll all look like the Game Hunters community you featured. It’s a work in progress, but so far, I think most of the newest communities have definitely worked hard to fulfill their reader interaction missions.

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