The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Calls the Urban Workshop Blog “News”, I Call the Post-Dispatch a Blog

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So the headline is a bit tongue-in-cheek and I have zero interest in picking fights with traditional media. Though when they sometimes rant against bloggers as canabalistic pipsqeaks I do point it out. I find that the symbiotic relationship between good blogs and good journalism benefits everyone. To offer a ridiculously simple perspective, blogs provide source material at times and can tip off traditional media to a story that people care about. Traditional media can utilize cultivated sources to often dig in a little deeper and provide a continuity of coverage.

But the line between the two is thin and constantly shifting. In a previous post I pointed out that there are currently 55 blogs on the Post-Dispatch website. 55. News-16 blogs, Business-6 blogs, Sports-17 blogs, Entertainment-10 blogs, Life & Style-6 blogs. And this is the trend at every major newspaper and news outlet in our country. What’s new here is that the Post-Dispatch is now calling this blog (and many others) “news”.

In a section labeled “Community News” the Post-Dispatch displays a map of the St. Louis metro area and invites on-line readers to “Explore a neighborhood.” Of course there are flaws, as in “St. Louis” being listed as a single neighborhood while Blackjack, Bel-Nor, Maeystown and Wellston have their own listing. But I’ll leave that alone for now. What is shown below the map is what is of interest here.

Today, below the map are two “STL Today stories”. The first is about City Diner opening a new location in Grand Center. It’s from the P-D’s Off the Menu blog. The second story is a quick blurb about the Cardinals, a placeholder offered up on the P-D’s Bird Land blog until the regular blog feature can be posted. And below these two stories? There are 12 stories labeled “More from around the web.”

The majority of these stories are from local…you guessed it, blogs! Today there’s Ecology of Absence by Michael Allen, Dawn Griffin’s real estate blog, STL Rising by Rick Bonasch and several others. Often the St. Louis Urban Workshop and others appear on this page. As far as I know, now blogger in St. Louis is paid for their work. No one passes them a dime when linking to a story. So the P-D maintains 55 blogs on its website and populates its community news page with blogs from around St. Louis. It seems a fair question to ask who’s feeding off who?

UPDATE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Calls the Urban Workshop Blog “News”, I Call the Post-Dispatch a Blog news story featured on the Post-Dispatch. I’m very gratified that the P-D believes my story about my blog being news and their news being a blog is “news”.

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