About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Off the Cliff | Main | Any Combination of Coins Accepted »

March 29, 2008



Great Blog, Mark, with a fascinating field to cover. I am a freelance journalist who put in a year and a half of daily posts to my local newspaper's fairly popular community blog. This was a great way for me to learn the newest tools of the trade and to figure out the points you have raised in your post, from a reporter's perspective. My posts were unpaid and unedited and definitely gave me the opportunity to write about local issues and goings on in the community from my own perspective. I received tremendous feedback from the community, with phone calls and emails and even packages at my door with requests on items to write about! I began to realize that my little experiment was gaining momentum and validity, with a lot more time commitment than I had intended. By the time I started receiving comments from an editorial staff member on a rival newspaper in the region, slamming me for using a newspaper web site to promote items of personal interest, I'd had my fill. This led me to Type Pad, where I am completely unaffiliated with any of the publications that I write for on a freelance basis. I definitely weigh up a story as to whether it would best be told in a brief blog post, a magazine article, or news story in the local paper. Print articles which go on to appear on-line do have a greater reach and I'm veering towards magazine and on-line these days.

Howard Owens

The passage cuts to close to perspective, which cuts too close to opinion -- and post-Lippmann era journalists are afraid of both.

Advantage blogs.

Charles Barthold

I asked a reporter from the FT recently the same question -- why is his most interesting material in blogs, not the paper? He said because the editors won't take it. So -- when an editor thinks conventionally and decides a news item doesn't fit into a pre-designated formula -- the reporter posts it to his blog.

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