A little while ago, Washingtonpost.com started linking to blogs. The modest effort alerts readers to blogs that have commented on a specific article, and appear on the same page as the article. They look like this:
According to the Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, some reporters aren’t happy:
Some Post reporters don’t appreciate that links are put on the Web site to what bloggers are saying about this or that story — especially when the bloggers are highly negative.
This underscores a fundamental tension about blogs in the mainstream media. Many of those involved in traditional outlets view blogs as a way to expand their audience and deepen the discourse about their content. The L.A. Times, CNN and other mainstream players actively push their content to ThinkProgress and other blogs via email.
But others, including some reporters at the Post, view blogs as a threat. Ms. Howell indicates they are motivated, at least in part, by a desire to insulate their work for criticism.