‘Wired’ Mag Vet Battelle: Online Journalism ‘Like Performance Art’

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By: E&P Staff

In an interview published today on the Online Journalism Review’s Web site (which is supported by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications), Wired magazine’s founding editor and publisher John Battelle said compared online journalism to performance art and said it was a similar skill to that needed by a radio talk show host.

“They talk to each other, they interview people and they take calls, and 50 percent of the callers are regular commentators,” said Battelle, of radio hosts in making the comparison. “We as audience participants love to listen to the conversation. Blogs in particular have that same kind of conversation.”

He also admitted that it is “terrifying” for most longtime print and television journalists to move onto the Web, and said that blogs have, in some ways become “archival footage.”

“I’m often referred back to posts I wrote six months ago or a year ago, he is quoted as saying. “One of the early examples of a major company breaking news through a blog is when Amazon let me break the news that they were getting into the search game. Later, Amazon announced that they were going to launch [a search site called] A9. Someone wrote me recently and said, remember that post? The A9 thing seems to be going away. I reread the post and 20 comments. When you see it as a whole, it’s really a powerful statement and [sometimes] the comments far outweigh the pure words of the post itself.”

To read the full text of the interview on OJR’s site, click here.

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