FTVLive launches group blog

Scott Jones at FTVLive.com (subscription required) has never shied away from controversy, so the idea of enabling a group of anonymous (to us) bloggers from every market is right up his alley. The FTVLive Market Report launched today with writers from eight markets talking about “the biz” in their respective markets — Boston to San Francisco to West Palm — and he hopes one day to have bloggers from every market.

The controversy here is that these bloggers will each be employed within the industry, so there’s a reasonable chance for hanky-panky. Scott told me he carefully screens each blogger and that his finger is on the delete button should anybody get out of line. “Whether its the weather guy or a photographer,” he said, “I want them to tell their own story about each market. They’ll be like local TV critics, except these people actually work in the business.”

He’s aware of the dangers of anonymity. “I’ve never been a big fan of people who hide behind an anonymous Website,” he told me, “but in this situation, I understand. They’re not being compensated. They’re paying members of my site.” He says the bloggers may be doing it as a hobby, out of love, or just as an ego stroke. For others, it might just jump start something more permanent. Regardless, he doesn’t expect problems.

“I’m not looking for some guy to just get on and trash his news director,” he said, “or simply be a cheerleader for his own station. If that does slide through, it’s easy enough for me to edit that out.”

The bloggers’ employers won’t know they’re participating “unless they tell them.”

I like this idea, because I like it when people can talk about things that are important. The only thing I don’t like is that the project doesn’t begin with comments, and I think that’s a set-up for manipulation. Without the ability for readers to respond to posts, a blog is nothing more than an editorial page. Scott says he’s open to the idea of comments, but not right now. “I don’t want it to become just another message board, and I don’t want these people to get slammed right off the bat.”

Okay. Accepted. But I’ll be watching. The plan is bold and ambitious and loaded with risks, which basically means it’ll be fun to watch as it unfolds.

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