blogging the news

Everyone is blogging. So are foreign correspondents. As part of their online offerings, the Straits Times and the Telegraph have foreign correspondents writing about their views, behind-the-scene notes, or news which don’t make it to the print edition.

Browsing through both sites, I was particularly entertained by this Telegraph post about Hillary Clinton snubbing her husband to kiss Barack Obama. The post very helpfully added a Youtube video on the episode too. With a mix of news and opinions, serious or otherwise, the blog posts by the Telegraph’s correspondents were obviously written for the quick online reader who prefers photos and videos to go along with the main course of text.

In contrast, the Straits Times blogs only offer chunks and chunks of text. While photos are posted, they seem to occur only once in a while, and videos are almost non-existent (I haven’t seen any so far). Though some posts give a peek into the emotions and the atmosphere of the scene behind news events, many are simply rehashed news that the reader already knows from reading other news websites.

For the Straits Times to start engaging the – increasingly important – online community, it will probably have to rethink the way its blogs are written. Writing a blog post in the usual news-writing style does not make for a good read. Instead, its journalists should reveal more about what they think and feel — not just about serious news, but about quirky incidents as well. After all, that is the difference between blogging and newspaper articles to begin with.


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