Monday, July 11, 2005

Come Blog With Me

The N-S Leo Morris has a new blog. (As far as I know, it's also his first blog.)

It's called Opening Arguments, and, like Tracy Warner's, it's hosted by Fort Wayne Newspapers' fortwayne.com website and is another experiment in blogging backed by one of the local dailies.

Here's his quasi-manifesto, from his first post:
I can’t tell you all of what I will try to do here, because I don’t know. I’ll begin with what I think about the things I see and hear, starting in Fort Wayne and working my way up to the "mind of God," to quote the play "Our Town." Blogs are, above all, personal. I hope to make it as interesting as possible with all the tools available, including photos, videos and sound bites. Some of the posts will be serious, some barely more than whimsical. I intend to open up the editorial-page process a little, revealing some of the discussions that led to our positions on the issues of the day, commenting on contributions from readers, sharing editorials and columns from other sources you might not have access to. Perhaps I will have, from time to time, guest bloggers or even permanent co-conspirators.
And I couldn't help but notice this, too:
Beyond that, I hope this site is also a work in progress, evolving as I experiment and as you contribute. No, not your "feedback." That has always seemed to me to be a condescending term – I pronounce from on high, and you react. If this blog is to be what it can be, it will require your collaboration as much as an editorial page requires the collaboration of its contributors. That means, for one thing, sending in your stuff – not just your comments but your photos and videos and sound bites that offer something interesting about the world we live in.
I'm not sure if he's referring to me (though he seems to read this blog), but I know I have a propensity for invoking reader feedback, and I don't have a problem with using that word. I don't think it implies an antiquated hierarchical structure whereby I pronounce and readers react. In fact, I think if I started making pronoucements, FWMN readers would just laugh at me; perhaps a few would even supply some negative feedback.

I admire Leo's gusto -- frankly, I'd be surprised if Opening Arguments got a lot contributions from collabrators, but I could be wrong. (I hope the editoral page contributors he's referring to aren't the N-S's infamous guest columnists! Please don't let them near his blog!)

Leo also published an "about me" section on his blog that I found interesting, and revealing:
I’ve been an Indiana journalist for more than 30 years and currently serve as editorial page editor of The News-Sentinel, a newspaper I delivered, for somewhat less money, at the age of 12. I was born in Eastern Kentucky, the son of a coal miner, but our family escaped before the sociologists found us. I had hoped to become the most famous media personality ever to graduate from Ball State University, but David Letterman beat me out. I served for three years in the U.S. Army, including a tour of Vietnam. I am an enthusiastic cook (specializing in baking), amateur musician and songwriter and fledgling videographer. Politically, I am a moderate conservative with strong libertarian tendencies and a few liberal skeletons in the closet. Philosophically, I am an empiric, consequentialist moralist, which means I think we all have an obligation to study the best evidence available to determine the most moral actions to take.
Leo's been blogging like crazy already -- the big scoop of the day is that he named his cats after two politicians he admired: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Welcome to blogging, Leo. I promise not to ask you your opinion of Kelly Gabriel...

UPDATE: One note about Leo's new blog: it looks like the techies at Fort Wayne Newspapers used the same formatting template for Leo's blog that they did for Tracy's -- which means that apart from some text and their respective paper's logo, both blogs look exactly the same. The first time I went to Leo's blog, I thought it was Tracy's. Not good, for Tracy or Leo or their readers. Leo needs to make sure that his blog looks distinctive enough that no one mistakenly confuses it for Tracy's. And if I was Tracy, I would be equally concerned.



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