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Existentialism on the Grid: Why are we here?

Posted at 9:37 AM on August 11, 2006 by Bill Wareham (1 Comments)

In a comment to one of yesterday's postings, Noah Kunin asks:

"[W]hat is the raison d'etre of this blog?"

A good question, Noah, one I tried to address, if not entirely answer, in this posting Wednesday.

Let me elaborate, at least a little. I see three functions we can serve here on the News Grid:

1) Previewing/highlighting MPR News programming. We often take it for granted here that our audience is constantly listening to us or monitoring our web sites. Of course, we know that's not really true. I think this blog can be a way to let folks know what we're working on and when they can hear or see it.

2)This can be another channel for alerting folks about breaking news. The blog won't supplant our regular programming channels on the air or on the web, but I think it can complement them. Yesterday's postings on the terror plot and the Zimmermann verdict were examples of that. I think that function is especially important for reaching media consumers who have shifted their attention from those legacy channels to newer forms of communication (like, uh, blogs).

3)This is one way we can improve our communication with the audience. I think a legitimate complaint against the mainstream media, at least sometimes, is that we have a kind of ivory tower, we-know-what's-best attitude about journalism. Publishing a blog won't take us out of the mainstream, but I think it represents a desire to meet the audience on a common ground. That doesn't mean we're going to please everyone all the time, but I'm hoping we can make this a conduit for civil discourse.

Let me add that I'm expecting some personal satisfaction from participating in this blog. There are a couple of things I miss from my reporting days - that daily engagement with folks outside the MPR building and writing. This will allow me to do more of both.

Comments (1)


Posted by Noah Kunin | August 19, 2006 1:37 PM