Friday, April 04, 2008

WGBH Blogger-Critic Turns Blogger

While it was the media-celebrity layoffs in the WBZ newsroom made news this week, over at public broadcaster WGBH they are suffering, too.

First, news that WGBH's short-term borrowing has recently become more expensive due to the credit crisis:
WGBH [uses] "variable" bonds whose rates reset every week based on certain bond indexes, often tied to complex "swap" agreements that also have proven volatile. The station has borrowed $124 million since 2002 for items including its glamorous new [nuclear aircraft carrier] headquarters in Brighton and to buy a radio frequency in the Brewster area...

Lately its borrowing costs have risen as high as 9 percent, from around 3 percent last year, adding an additional $100,000 or so to its borrowing costs - each week...

"Sadly, first and foremost where the impact will come is on our ability to expand," WGBH chief executive Jonathan C. Abbott said. The most likely candidates are special onetime editions of public affairs programs, Abbott said; he doesn't anticipate having to cut any of WGBH's existing shows.
Today we see that WGBH's own media-celebrity, Emily Rooney of Greater Boston, has started blogging. She says she's filling in for Jeff Keating, whose extended leave resulted in no postings since February. "We too suffer from staff shortages and lack of resources," blogger Rooney writes.

Rooney and several of her regular guests on the "Beat the Press" Friday edition of Greater Boston are often quick to criticize blogging and bloggers. (I wish WGBH posted the old videos so that I could dig out the PJs reference.) The burden to set the record straight about blogging often falls upon Dan Kennedy, himself the author of Media Nation blog, or occasionally John Carroll.

Rooney is clearly learning the ropes of this citizen journalism thing. First she puts up a blank post, then two minutes later she submitted another post. Fortunately, the second post had content, although it was littered with grammatical errors, a misspelling, and no paragraph breaks. But -- Hey! -- she was probably posting it from the basement of her parents' house while wearing PJs, and the wireless signal might not be so good down there next to the boiler. I surmise that Rooney's distaste for the medium has something to do with her sloppy initial foray into blogging. Next I expect Kennedy will explain to Rooney how she needs to learn how to shoot, edit, and post video all by herself to stay current in the new journalism world.

I hope Rooney's new experiment with the medium leads her to a greater appreciation of it. Welcome to the blogging world, Ms. Rooney! Remember: double carriage return for a paragraph break! (Kennedy had to teach his Northeastern students this lesson, too.) And don't forget to edit your writing before posting, because this blogging thing ain't all that much different from your regular gig.

1 comment:

emily_rooney said...

I'm not "filling in" for Jeff Keating. I wrote several posts back when we first started.