Following wave after wave of redundancies on US and UK newspapers and a marked shift to web-only or web-dominant on those titles that survive, hundreds of traditional journalists are about to flood the bloggers hallowed grounds. Once there, journalists will kick off blogs, competing for stories, attention and readers, rubbing up against exactly the group they have sometimes blames for much of traditional journalism’s malaise.
Are bloggers, and to be honest many New Media journalists, ready for this new wave of economic migrants? Will bloggers need to raise their game? Is the world big enough for both of them?
Bloggers will spot the newcomers easily at first. They will continue to operate in the same familiar and trusted ways that they are used to in print, presuming that those ways need only be transfered to the web. So notice how many of the blogs will be “broadcast” at first, written as if they are newspaper columns and expecting readers to come to them.
Are bloggers ready for what comes next, however? Bloggers have broken some great stories over the years but a new wave of professional journalists oozing great contacts and forced to use their blogs to break stories are going to be tough new competition. Are bloggers going to be just a little annoyed that the newcomers, with their strong links back to what remains of traditional media, will have their postings picked up and linked to major websites far quicker than theirs? Will the years of training to write quick, factually correct and legal articles translate into a new standard of accuracy and attribution which will fundamentally alter the content of blogs?
But could there be a different scenario? Could the new wave of people into New Media raise everyone’s game? Could it not bring new names to the fore, new ideas, new ways of creating blogs? After all, some of the greatest bloggers today started out as print journalists, Jeff Jarvis and Craig Stolz for example. WIll not the newcomers morph into New Media stars just as effortlessly?
The constant drip, drip, drip of bad news about print media has made us all think of the negative results of these seismic changes. The arrival of these journalists will bring a little wounded pride to those bloggers who have been toiling for years. But, for any blogger of worth, the newcomers bring nothing but good.