The difference between bloggers and journalists

What guides your decisions on whether you link to another blog or website from a post or article you publish on your blog or website?

That’s one of the questions arising from Robert Scoble’s rant that his Intel video interviews were largely ignored by gadget sites and mainstream media even though Robert believed those interviews had significant news value.

Ryan Block of Engadget has a clear answer:

[…] We’re primarily a news publication, and we have to make editorial decisions day in and day out. I wasn’t on duty when the Intel post in question was written, but it was hit by Paul Miller, one of our best and most professional writers. I expect Paul to take into account all available information when writing, and he did just that. I asked Paul if he’d reviewed the Scoble videos; he told me he had, and didn’t find anything that would have benefitted our editorial. In a private email this afternoon, Robert described his video as the “freaking scoop of the century and no one linked to it.” I asked Paul to review the videos a second time to search of any facts or content we missed that might have benefitted our editorial; he did so and reported back to me that he found none. A tour of the Intel plant isn’t the scoop of the century – at least not to us. That’s an editorial decision, and I trust Paul implicitly to make it.

I think that view is valid whether you’re a news publication or an individual blogger.

Ryan again:

[…] I view linking as an extension of our editorial, and as such it falls into place with our editorial decision-making. When we link to a site, that’s a tacit affirmation of quality as deemed by Engadget’s editorial standards. Because people trust us not to lead them astray, we have a pretty transparent standing NSFW linking policy (i.e. we won’t directly link to a xxx pr0n site with a tech story, for instance). […] Sometimes many sites will write up the same news at the same time, tip us, and we have to pick which one to link. How do we pick? Usually it’s just where we found the news first (i.e. who tipped or blogged first), but sometimes we have to make an editorial decision and just pick the blog or publication that did the best job, added the most value to the conversation. It’s nothing personal, but a lot of sites definitely take it personally.

I would imagine that such thinking is also followed by mainstream media, whether it’s blogs they’re writing or ‘normal’ online publications.

Is it the only reasoning, though? Would you link to another blog or website purely to give or receive link love? I’ve done that a few times. Would I do it if my blog, or another I was writing for, was a news site as opposed to a private personal blog?

It undoubtedly would depend on the editorial policy of the site I’m writing for, among other things. And therein lies one of the prime differences between bloggers and those who write for news sites.

Dare I say it – one difference between bloggers and journalists?

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