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Like PressThink? More from the same pen:

Read about Jay Rosen's book, What Are Journalists For?

Excerpt from Chapter One of What Are Journalists For? "As Democracy Goes, So Goes the Press."

Essay in Columbia Journalism Review on the changing terms of authority in the press, brought on in part by the blog's individual--and interactive--style of journalism. It argues that, after Jayson Blair, authority is not the same at the New York Times, either.

"Web Users Open the Gates." My take on ten years of Internet journalism, at

Read: Q & As

Jay Rosen, interviewed about his work and ideas by journalist Richard Poynder

Achtung! Interview in German with a leading German newspaper about the future of newspapers and the Net.

Audio: Have a Listen

Listen to an audio interview with Jay Rosen conducted by journalist Christopher Lydon, October 2003. It's about the transformation of the journalism world by the Web.

Five years later, Chris Lydon interviews Jay Rosen again on "the transformation." (March 2008, 71 minutes.)

Interview with host Brooke Gladstone on NPR's "On the Media." (Dec. 2003) Listen here.

Presentation to the Berkman Center at Harvard University on open source journalism and NewAssignment.Net. Downloadable mp3, 70 minutes, with Q and A. Nov. 2006.

Video: Have A Look

Half hour video interview with Robert Mills of the American Microphone series. On blogging, journalism, NewAssignment.Net and distributed reporting.

Jay Rosen explains the Web's "ethic of the link" in this four-minute YouTube clip.

"The Web is people." Jay Rosen speaking on the origins of the World Wide Web. (2:38)

One hour video Q & A on why the press is "between business models" (June 2008)

Recommended by PressThink:

Town square for press critics, industry observers, and participants in the news machine: Romenesko, published by the Poynter Institute.

Town square for weblogs: InstaPundit from Glenn Reynolds, who is an original. Very busy. Very good. To the Right, but not in all things. A good place to find voices in diaolgue with each other and the news.

Town square for the online Left. The Daily Kos. Huge traffic. The comments section can be highly informative. One of the most successful communities on the Net.

Rants, links, blog news, and breaking wisdom from Jeff Jarvis, former editor, magazine launcher, TV critic, now a J-professor at CUNY. Always on top of new media things. Prolific, fast, frequently dead on, and a pal of mine.

Eschaton by Atrios (pen name of Duncan B;ack) is one of the most well established political weblogs, with big traffic and very active comment threads. Left-liberal.

Terry Teachout is a cultural critic coming from the Right at his weblog, About Last Night. Elegantly written and designed. Plus he has lots to say about art and culture today.

Dave Winer is the software wiz who wrote the program that created the modern weblog. He's also one of the best practicioners of the form. Scripting News is said to be the oldest living weblog. Read it over time and find out why it's one of the best.

If someone were to ask me, "what's the right way to do a weblog?" I would point them to Doc Searls, a tech writer and sage who has been doing it right for a long time.

Ed Cone writes one of the most useful weblogs by a journalist. He keeps track of the Internet's influence on politics, as well developments in his native North Carolina. Always on top of things.

Rebecca's Pocket by Rebecca Blood is a weblog by an exemplary practitioner of the form, who has also written some critically important essays on its history and development, and a handbook on how to blog.

Dan Gillmor used to be the tech columnist and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. He now heads a center for citizen media. This is his blog about it.

A former senior editor at Pantheon, Tom Englehardt solicits and edits commentary pieces that he publishes in blog form at TomDispatches. High-quality political writing and cultural analysis.

Chris Nolan's Spot On is political writing at a high level from Nolan and her band of left-to-right contributors. Her notion of blogger as a "stand alone journalist" is a key concept; and Nolan is an exemplar of it.

Barista of Bloomfield Avenue is journalist Debbie Galant's nifty experiment in hyper-local blogging in several New Jersey towns. Hers is one to watch if there's to be a future for the weblog as news medium.

The Editor's Log, by John Robinson, is the only real life honest-to-goodness weblog by a newspaper's top editor. Robinson is the blogging boss of the Greensboro News-Record and he knows what he's doing.

Fishbowl DC is about the world of Washington journalism. Gossip, controversies, rituals, personalities-- and criticism. Good way to keep track of the press tribe in DC

PJ Net Today is written by Leonard Witt and colleagues. It's the weblog of the Public Journalisn Network (I am a founding member of that group) and it follows developments in citizen-centered journalism.

Here's Simon Waldman's blog. He's the Director of Digital Publishing for The Guardian in the UK, the world's most Web-savvy newspaper. What he says counts.

Novelist, columnist, NPR commentator, Iraq War vet, Colonel in the Army Reserve, with a PhD in literature. How many bloggers are there like that? One: Austin Bay.

Betsy Newmark's weblog she describes as "comments and Links from a history and civics teacher in Raleigh, NC." An intelligent and newsy guide to blogs on the Right side of the sphere. I go there to get links and comment, like the teacher said.

Rhetoric is language working to persuade. Professor Andrew Cline's Rhetorica shows what a good lens this is on politics and the press.

Davos Newbies is a "year-round Davos of the mind," written from London by Lance Knobel. He has a cosmopolitan sensibility and a sharp eye for things on the Web that are just... interesting. This is the hardest kind of weblog to do well. Knobel does it well.

Susan Crawford, a law professor, writes about democracy, technology, intellectual property and the law. She has an elegant weblog about those themes.

Kevin Roderick's LA Observed is everything a weblog about the local scene should be. And there's a lot to observe in Los Angeles.

Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice is by a political independent with an irrevant style and great journalistic instincts. A link-filled and consistently interesting group blog.

Ryan Sholin's Invisible Inkling is about the future of newspapers, online news and journalism education. He's the founder of and a self-taught Web developer and designer.

H20town by Lisa Williams is about the life and times of Watertown, Massachusetts, and it covers that town better than any local newspaper. Williams is funny, she has style, and she loves her town.

Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing at is a daily review of the best reporting and commentary on the presidency. Read it daily and you'll be extremely well informed.

Rebecca MacKinnon, former correspondent for CNN, has immersed herself in the world of new media and she's seen the light (great linker too.)

Micro Persuasion is Steve Rubel's weblog. It's about how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the business of persuasion. Rubel always has the latest study or article.

Susan Mernit's blog is "writing and news about digital media, ecommerce, social networks, blogs, search, online classifieds, publishing and pop culture from a consultant, writer, and sometime entrepeneur." Connected.

Group Blogs

CJR Daily is Columbia Journalism Review's weblog about the press and its problems, edited by Steve Lovelady, formerly of the Philadelpia Inquirer.

Lost Remote is a very newsy weblog about television and its future, founded by Cory Bergman, executive producer at KING-TV in Seattle. Truly on top of things, with many short posts a day that take an inside look at the industry.

Editors Weblog is from the World Editors Fourm, an international group of newspaper editors. It's about trends and challenges facing editors worldwide. keeps track of developments from the British side of the Atlantic. Very strong on online journalism.

Digests & Round-ups:

Memeorandum: Single best way I know of to keep track of both the news and the political blogosphere. Top news stories and posts that people are blogging about, automatically updated.

Daily Briefing: A categorized digest of press news from the Project on Excellence in Journalism.

Press Notes is a round-up of today's top press stories from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Richard Prince does a link-rich thrice-weekly digest called "Journalisms" (plural), sponsored by the Maynard Institute, which believes in pluralism in the press.

Newsblog is a daily digest from Online Journalism Review.

E-Media Tidbits from the Poynter Institute is group blog by some of the sharper writers about online journalism and publishing. A good way to keep up

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March 1, 2006

New! PressThink's Blue Plate Special Launches. We Name the Top Blogging Newspapers in the U.S.

Number One is the Houston Chronicle, Number Two the Washington Post. There's more. And there's a big chart. So check it out.

Well, there were the usual glitches and it’s a little late. But PressThink’s Blue Plate Special is here. (It was announced in an earlier post.)

The first one is all about newspaper blogging— state of the art. Students from my blogging 101 class, joined by two grad students, are the core editorial team; we’ve added other contributors from across the Web. I’m the editor.

We have a rolling launch planned. New stuff will be introduced over the next week or two. Coming up:

Kicking things off today: The Best Blogging Newspapers in the U.S (among the top 100 by size.) We looked at every site on the list, and also produced a nifty chart showing the state of blogging at U.S. newspapers. And in the debut package there’s a feature by K. Paul Mallasch on the Houston Chronicle’s blog leadership, plus an interview with USA Today’s Kinsey Wilson.

But you can’t find it here, so head over to

UPDATE, Nextafternoon…

… Blue Plate Special No. 2, which we hope to put out in March, will be about “how blogs work.” (Roll it around in your mind.)

We plan a close-up look at a bunch of blogs that do work, successful uses of the form, in order to understand from them how they work, and the why of it.

So maybe we’ll call it why blogs work. Point is, we’re telling you—PressThink readers—now. So some of you can help out.

In anthropology they call it “thick” description. We’re interested in that for our next Special: how blogs that work well to inform their users actually work.

If you want to contribute, check out what Mike Andersen did for our launch, and send me an e-mail. Have a clear and powerful idea, execute simply and well… Blue Plate’s formula.

We need people to cooperate like Kinsey Wilson did, as well as writers, reporters, data miners, bloggers who can work independently.

I’m serious: you have to see this chart.

Posted by Jay Rosen at March 1, 2006 2:05 PM   Print


I wish I could contribute from Italy!!


Posted by: Antonella at March 2, 2006 8:50 AM | Permalink

This is just wicked good. You guys have just saved me a ton of work. Thank you.

Posted by: Daniel Conover at March 2, 2006 9:11 AM | Permalink

Looks great, Jay! Already some good info and leads. Good Luck! I don't know if you're going to segregate commentary and analysis on "blogging" issues (I think its time we found another word for it) to the BPS, but I would be interested in your take on what Josh Marshall has done to grow out Talking Points Memo, with his TPM Cafe and the new muckraking angle. An intelligent guy, and worth keeping track of.

Posted by: Mark J. McPherson at March 2, 2006 9:16 AM | Permalink

Good going, Jay. This is extremely useful.

I too would be interested in your take on what Josh Marshall has done to grow out Talking Points Memo, with his TPM Cafe and the new muckraking angle. An intelligent guy, and worth keeping track of.

Posted by: Robb Hecht at March 2, 2006 10:13 AM | Permalink

Hmmm. We somehow managed to slip out of the top 100.

Posted by: Ken Sands at March 2, 2006 1:38 PM | Permalink

As a big-paper blogger of relatively short standing, I'm not going to quibble with the study's judgments of what is and isn't good newspaper blogging, but I do wonder a little about the methodology.

Is it really important that a paper's site have a catch-all "bloggers" space? That's useful for people researching blogs, to be sure.

But my understanding is that readers go to newspaper sites looking for news. So the more salient measure -- or, at minimum, another salient measure -- of a paper's blogs ought to be how well they are incorporated into the daily news presentation.

Just something to think about when you and your students update this valuable service in six months or a year, as I hope you'll do.

Posted by: Steve Johnson at March 2, 2006 3:42 PM | Permalink

Wow. I followed one of the links to a newspaper blog, and it is certainly quaint to see one without a comments section.
and it feels a bit rude - "readership should be counted but not heard"

in fact (as a commenter, therefore inherently biased) I think that how a blog(ger) handles comments is a big determining factor for weblog quality - so maybe for the next chart...?

If I had slave labor to build a chart I'd want these fields added:

On comments:
* yes/no
* reg. required/no for reader,commenter
* reader-friendliness of comments: ranging from "make the suckers click to see if there _are_ any comments" to "show comments through a soda straw" to normal to Typepad (where you can see who most recently commented, on what)
* Well maintained/no (if there are 20 comments all of which are abusive or spam...)
* The blogger participates/no

General quality-of-blog fields:
* Does the blog link to outside websites?
* to outside weblogs?
* Does it have an explicit "commitment to readers" section? Saying what?

and so on

Also, might be good to write a script that grabs and saves a few posts+comments from each weblog, since times and URLs can change.

I do love coming up with work for other people to do...

Posted by: Anna Haynes at March 2, 2006 6:26 PM | Permalink

Thanks, Steve. I don't think it's right that a main blogs page is useful for blog researchers; it's useful, period. But I do think it's right that "blog integration with news coverage" and how well that is done should be a factor in judging commitment and quality; we probably missed that. If I did it again, I would look for that.

I would also run Amy's suggestion--the blogginess index--and see how it worked.

I think your blog is very good, Steve, and more user-centric than a lot of journalists are; I've been intrigued also by the Swamp, the Tribune's DC bureau blog.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at March 2, 2006 7:03 PM | Permalink

Congrats Jay. Great first project and I echo Steve's call to have the list updated over time. I wonder how much the discussion by the Chron's editor will motivate the rest of the newspapers to put more resources into blogging. It is dissapointing to be out here in California and have such poor blog integration.

Posted by: Julia Rosen at March 2, 2006 8:01 PM | Permalink

Thanks, Julia.

The Northeast and California are not the ones "ahead" in newspaper blogging, that's for sure.

Here's an interesting comment from one of Dwight Silverman's readers at his Tech blog for the Houston Chronicle: "Two strange things. First, I'm more apt to read Chronicle reporters who blog than those who don't. I almost never read the usual sections except when they are linked to in the blogs."

Also of note: the aforementioned Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has put together The 50 best Web sites (not blogs) based on... well, based on a lot of stuff you should check out.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at March 3, 2006 12:00 PM | Permalink

Hi Jay,

Wrote about the launch of Blue Plate yesterday for the Media Hub at Corante...just wanted to stop by myself and say congrats to all of you on such a cool new venture!


Posted by: Tish G. at March 3, 2006 5:30 PM | Permalink

Tish G's Rosen and NYU Students Serve Up Blue Plate Special at Corante Media Hub

re new fields for the chart, a high-ROI approach might be to make use of Steve Yelvington's "online web community" classifications and guidelines, in his Jan 2006 Ano-, pseudo- ... what's the best -nymity? (which covers more territory)

Posted by: Anna Haynes at March 3, 2006 7:29 PM | Permalink

link to Amy Gahran's How ‘bloggy’ is your paper? (April 2005)

Posted by: Anna Haynes at March 3, 2006 7:45 PM | Permalink

The Blue Plate Special looks great - can't wait to see how the rest turned out. Hope what I was able to contribute usual, life tends to happen when you're least ready for it.

Posted by: TEd at March 6, 2006 10:29 AM | Permalink

it's broken

Posted by: ryan at March 7, 2006 3:00 AM | Permalink


Posted by: chy at March 8, 2006 8:27 PM | Permalink

From the Intro