San Jose Mercury News: Wanted: Los Gatos bloggers. We’re looking for community bloggers in Los Gatos who can write about such things as events in town, school fundraisers, the score of the latest football game. We need someone who would love a forum for reflecting on the latest buzz story in town, or even write things to do for runners, kids, moms, retirees or other groups in town.
This could be a fairly big deal, especially if it means the paper will do more than just highlight what the bloggers do (i.e. pay them for what they do).
But the very fact that the paper has recognized what has been obvious for years — that the bloggers and others running websites in a community are able to supplement, and in some cases replace, what the newspaper has been doing, or failing to do.
Every newspaper should be a portal to the bloggers, Flickr and YouTube posters and others who are creating media about the towns and neighborhoods in the circulation area. That so few understand this is testament to the industry’s continuing cluelessness.
The Merc is owned by a company that has, from all available evidence, vastly more concern for profit than journalism — a company that appears not to see the value of excellence as a business proposition. So if this move is essentially to get more “content” for less money, it’s a loser.
But to the extent that the Mercury News is recognizing and helping to promote a wider and more diverse media ecosystem, this is a potentially noteworthy move.