It’s all about listening

Jeff Jarvis gives props to WKRN-TV this morning in a post about the New York blogosphere.

Following in the footsteps of WKRN in Nashville, WNBC in New York plays host to a meetup with local bloggers and Sree Sreenivasan — who just moved over from WABC to head a new technology push — talked about it at length on the air this morning.

The station covered the event (which they should have) and offered viewers a pretty interesting survey that you can take it yourself.

New York’s first Blogger Summit was held in Studio 6A at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known to many as the home of the Conan O’Brien Show. There, WNBC and the team of bloggers spent time talking about covering New York, its many niches, and the role “new media” plays in a world previously dominated by networks and newspapers.

The hope is that those bloggers will work with, trading news and information and giving additional exposure to big stories, both on blogs or on TV.

For example, if a blog gets a scoop on a big news story, WNBC would work with that blogger to report that story on television, giving more exposure to that blog. Also, if WNBC has video of a news event that might be interesting to a blogger, the blogger will have our blessing to post that video on their site.

I’m not sure I’d have positioned it exactly that way, but the station obviously felt it was the right path. Organizing the blogosphere isn’t so much about exploitation getting them to work with the station; it’s about the conversation and how supporting the conversation comes with a significant pay-back for the station. This is what WKRN has learned, and along the way, they’ve come to the exact position that WNBC is seeking.

This comes just a few weeks after The Washington Post announced plans for a blog directory and group blog (a “blortal”), Metroblogging DC. This, too, began with another meetup of bloggers. One of the bloggers involved in the group blog is David, who wrote with typical blogger skepticism in his inaugural post:

Generally, this is a good step from a media company the size and clout of the Washington Post, and seemingly, given their interest in feedback from the community of the bloggers, they are looking for a ‘best of breed’ directory when they launch (whenever that may be). It’s ambitious, but, it could be, a solution to a problem that doesn’t necessarily exist at this point, which is, the inability of the public to find relevant information on blogs in the DC Metro Area (regardless of content or focus). Advertising, however localized, is probably the major corporate reason for this push since, it’s been reported widely around the country, that the web (and sites such as Craigslist) are eating into a lot of the traditional revenue such as classifieds and smaller ads that newspapers usually rely upon. This is not to say the presentation of this upcoming site feature was disingenuous, but the reasons for even presenting this to the folks gathered was never fully disclosed.

I think it’s fabulous that local media companies are reaching out to the blogosphere, because the involvement with the local community will only make them better at what they do. We called WKRN’s aggregator “Nashville is Talking,” because the real mission of the station is to listen.

And that’s something we generally don’t do very well.


  1. Isn’t it logical that these local bloggers link to the live feeds from local stations. Isn’t it OK if they get paid for it. Local syndication of local content.

  2. Of course it is, Phoneranger.

    Not only has WKRN paid vloggers for content they’ve used on-the-air, but they’re in discussions to turn a whole 30-minute blog in the afternoon news schedule over to the blogger community.

  3. thedetroitchannel says

    the screen shot i saw at wnbc(dotcom) had sree and two other guys… each one in a dark suit.
    somehow i never thought of bloggers as corp. suits.

    and the term “blortal”?

    definitely forged by committee.

  4. The gall of WNBC asking local bloggers to be their stringers.
    NABET freelance writers in the NBC NY contract get about $300/day + $55 in lieu of benefits. I think the bloggers should ask for at least that if an original story or tip gets used by WNBC. Video folks should get the same rate as video stringer services — anywhere from $250-$500/per story.
    Many local NYC bloggers wrote after the meeting that they’d been had.
    Remember, it’s New York. It’s all about the Benjamins.

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