‘Bandwagon’ media blogs at US Democratic convention

CNN and the BBC are two of the international broadcast media who have embraced blogging in a big way as part of their news coverage of the US Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week.

Both broadcasters have blogs on their websites with frequent comment from journalists covering the event.

Screenshot - BBC News blog

This is an excellent move by such broadcasters, and will contribute to all that’s going in in raising the profile of blogging as a ‘new wave’ communication tool. I can’t help but wonder, though, whether this is more a case of jumping on a bandwagon.

Both blogs are not very well implemented in how visitors can contribute comments. In the case of the BBC blog, I can’t see how it’s any different in this regard to how you make comments on other pages in the BBC News website. There’s no sense of immediacy or that your comments are part of a dynamic and spontaneous interchange of opinions. In fact, to make comments on both the CNN and BBC blogs, you have to complete a little dialog which sends your input to someone for review before it gets posted. Maybe thay want to avoid wacko postings, but it’s a bit of a timid approach.

Are they really blogs, or just webpages masquerading as blogs? Here’s the short definition of blogs from Wikipedia –

A weblog, or simply a blog, is a website which contains periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts on a common webpage. Such a web site would typically be accessible to any Internet user. Individual posts (which taken together are the blog or weblog) either share a particular theme, or a single or small group of authors.

But does it actually matter whether these media blogs fall within such a narrow definition? The definition actually looks like it needs updating simply because of the speed with which the blogosphere is developing.

Screenshot - CNN blog

I think what’s more valuable is that both blogs do provide a means for anyone to contribute comment, however poorly implemented it is at the moment, and represent a big step forward for the media in embracing blogging and raising its profile (CNN are highlighting their blog in their broadcast TV coverage of the DNC).

And that’s definitely good news.