Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

The Economist does blogging

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The Economist is developing a series of blogs and blog-like products. They’re quite good, in my opinion. Now the journal has even taken to posting all (or nearly) the letters to the editor it receives. Good stuff if you’re a fan of the venerable British “newspaper” — as I am.

Stephen Bainbridge questions why they insist on cloaking their bloggers in anonymity:

To be sure, the magazine has a long tradition of anonymity. As I understand the magazine’s policy, only reviews of books written by authors associated with The Economist are signed. This makes sense in the context of a heavily edited magazine. The logic, I suppose, is that the magazine speaks with one editorial voice…But The Economist.com’s blogs are different. The are expressly stated to be “lightly moderated blogs in which journalists from The Economist Newspaper, Economist.com and The Economist Intelligence Unit post their thoughts and observations.” In other words, they are not intended to be a group product nor to necessarily represent the magazine’s editorial voice. So why not identify the bloggers?…I want to know if the post was written by Megan McArdle or somebody else, because it’s relevant data to assessing the argument. I also want to know which blog post was written by which contributor, just so I can develop a sense of the poster’s personality and
ideology.

Quite so. I believe The Economist mostly “gets it” when it comes to the internet. They certainly seem to “get it” a lot more than, say, The New York Times. But it seems to me they’d be better off just “adopting” Megan’s blog — or adopting several blogs — in a manner similar to what The Atlantic Monthly has done with Sullivan, or perhaps what Time has done with various bloggers.

The anonymity really doesn’t seem to quite work when it comes to blogging.

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Written by Jasper

February 15, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Blogs, Media

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