The Death of the News Blog: Print to the Rescue

Larry Kramer, founder of CBS MarketWatch, writes today about Nick Denton’s (Gawker’s) decision to abandon the blog format in favor of “curation.” What it means is that the old print, yes, dare I say it, “old” newspaper and magazine print format, is coming back. Editors are back in, last minute’s blog post and 140 characters are out. For the first 20 years of the life of the web, we have been subjected to two mantras: 1. print is dead. 2. Editors are dead (no “gatekeepers” on the web, the “middleman” is out).  Wrong. Print defined a familiar format for readers, one that they could come back to daily (or monthly or whatever) and immediately know where to find what. And editors made decisions about what’s important, what deserves to be the feature story. Actually, print and editors never went away. Print is still the preferred advertising medium (it’s just that most print publishers and editors fell for the new mantras) and editors reign supreme online (see YouTube, for example). So now we are coming back full circle, killing the blog and resurrecting the newspaper/magazine format online. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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