Calling a blog a blog

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Andy Boyle:

It’s time to stop bifurcating your content as blogs and news because they run on separate systems. It is all content, so why not call it that? Even if you have outside people writing posts on your website that are unmoderated by your staff — that’s still content that’s part of your media outlet’s website. I don’t have any research proving this, but in my short journalism career many media outlets just slapped the name “blog” on something because it lived in a different CMS. We should stop this. Please.

No, we shouldn’t.

Blogs aren’t just about the technology. Blogs are about tone of voice, an approach to community-focused publishing, linking and focus. You can deliver news through a blog, sure, but you won’t be doing it in the same way you do traditional news.

He’s essentially arguing that we should stop calling newspapers by that name, and call them all magazines, because hey, they’re all printed on folded paper, right?

If people are separating “blogs” and “news” purely on technology, then yes, they’re idiots. (It’s also another category error. You can deliver news through blogs, but not blogs through news. See?)  However, if they don’t understand the distinctions between the two media, and perceive them all as a mish-mash of content, they they don’t understand the subtleties of either medium.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.