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  • Toli Galanis
  • Alexis Krase
  • Akshay Jain
  • Andre Henry
  • Emily McFarlan
  • Kaitlin Jessing-Butz
  • Kat Ocampo
  • Lauren Dzura
  • Patrick Akhidenor
  • Trisha Chang
  • Sami Osman
  • Sara Williams
  • Vanessa Fica
  • Will McLean
  • Renee Alfuso
  • Briana Mowrey
  • Apostolia Pentogenis
  • K. Paul Mallasch
  • Michael W. Andersen
  • Jay Rosen


“Who seems to really know what they’re doing…?”

That was the starter question for the Blue Plate Special team: fifteen undergraduates in journalism at NYU, two graduate students, one professor. (A.k.a. “the Specials” or “Blue Plates.”) We set out to determine—by our lights— the top blogging newspapers in the U.S.

An asterik * goes after U.S. because we looked only at the sites of the 100 largest newspapers (according to this company), ranked the old-fashioned way— daily circulation. They run from USA Today (2.3 million) to the News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida (101,000 daily.)

This method leaves out sites well known for their blogging sections— like the Spokesman-Review, which might have made our list. The list is not a map of innovation. In some ways, bigger newspapers may just now be going where smaller ones have already been. All we did is look at the major dailies—where blogging is old media renewal— to see how they responded to a demand for innovation, and a new area in which to excel. We did not evaluate the newspapers themselves, just the blogging part. (See the data collected in our chart, The State of Blogging at America’s 100 Largest Newspapers.)

In posts to come, Blue Plate Special will look at blogging at smaller newspapers, at Canadian newspapers, and overseas.

First, the results

We weren’t after a top ten list, necessarily, although there’s nothing wrong with ten, either. We tried to let the results fall in a way that seemed to make sense of our findings. So here they are, the top blogging newspapers in the U.S., according to the Specials.*

1. Houston Chronicle (128 points)

2. Washington Post (69 points)

3. USA Today (38 points, 1 honorable mention)

4. St. Petersburg Times (29 points, 2 honorable mention)

5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution (23 points)

6. San Antonio Express-News (22 points, 1 honorable mention)

(* Among the 100 largest dailies.)

In addition, we found two sites where the blogging efforts were worthy of honorable mention:

New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Oklahoman

The point system worked as follows: Five Blue Plates, working closely together, examined the blogging sections of all 100 largest newspapers, and narrowed the list to 20 nominees for “top” performer. We knew in a general way what we were looking for: very user friendly, high quality content (writing, editing and images) and a grasp of blogging, a sense of ease with the form.

The full Blue Plate Special team of 18 took a week to pore over these 20 sites. Voters assigned 10 points to their first choice, 5 points to their second, 3 points to third, 2 points to fourth, 1 point to fifth, with one honorable mention permitted.

What we were looking for

The three measures we began with became eight factors the selectors saw as critical to their own judgments.

Ease-of-use and clear navigation. With blogs easily reached off the home page of the site! All the Specials began where they thought readers began: user-friendly pages. “I will admit: I have a short attention span,” wrote Kat Ocampo in her post-mortem. “So first and foremost, the blogs had to be well-organized, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. If the page didn’t grab me from the get-go, I didn’t choose it.”

Sami Osman calls it “user-friendly navigating through blogs that are well designed.” Trish Chang drew the contrast. “Some blog pages were just grocery lists of links to blogs, without descriptions, without color. Others had photos of the bloggers, descriptions, and even showed how many recent comments had been left on each blog.”

Kaitlin Jessing-Butz was one of the nominators. “I spent hours and hours sorting through websites that were not user-friendly or logically designed in search of hidden blogs. So first and foremost, I was looking for ease of access. Not only for my own sanity, but also as a message to the paper’s readers.” (And what’s the message? We value your time.) Her reactions to bad design were visceral. “I have such a deep disgust for sites with ugly, overly busy, or illogically designed blog pages that I have a tough time focusing on them.”

Currency. Don’t have blogs unless they are updated with the frequency required of a daily newspaper, say the Blue Plates. “I looked at how serious the paper seemed to be taking the blog,” Lauren Dzura says. “Posts had to be recent and up to date. If a newspaper is not going to post about the most current events, then what is the point of having [a blog]?”

Quality of writing, thinking and linking. By “writing” the editorial team meant blog writing. “I wasn’t looking for regurgitated newspaper columns,” wrote Jessing-Butz in her review. “I wanted to see sharper writing in these blogs, with an inherent awareness of its form. I also wasn’t looking for diary entries.” They were particularly hard on newspaper blogs that did not link a lot outside their own domains.

Voice. Closely related to writing quality was the presence of a personal—we might almost say echoing—voice. Chang: “The most popular blogs in general (for instance, those found on Technorati or Blogline’s Top Blogs) are more often than not written by a blogger with a captivating voice. Whether they’re quirky, angry at the world, nerdy, incredibly intellectual, or thought-provoking, there has to be a distinct voice that makes the reader come back again and again.” What she meant by voice in a blogger was Heather Armstrong of Dooce. Andre Henry said he favored the blogging section that “represents the work of the paper, except with a point-of-view.”

Comments and reader participation. We generally—but not always—took a dim view of blogs without comments; and weren’t impressed if a newspaper blog had comments enabled, but post after post drew zero. That was a bad sign to the Specials. Alexis Krase writes, “I was looking for a certain level of reader interaction.” Will McLean said he “put the most emphasis on the volume of comments, which I feel is the best indicator of the overall general interest deserved by the post.” But it wasn’t just quantity. Toli Galanis said that by sifting through the comments he got a “sense of how conscious and open the bloggers were to feedback and criticism.” Comments as a measure of openness is different from: “we’re open to comments.”

Range and originality. Blogging is a chance for a newspaper to break out of its normal categories: news, sports, business and leisure. The Blue Plates were looking for that. As Toli Galanis says, “A paper had to not only offer the same area of expertise they were known for in their print editions, but they also had to complement those strengths with their blogs.” Sami Osman said the trick was: “large selection of blogs, without being overwhelming.” He also said he ranked specialty blogs higher, since anyone can think of “tech blog.” Other Specials gave points to blogs on things the paper would not typically cover, in the belief that this was using the form correctly.

Explain what blogging is on your blogs page. Points off for the newspaper that had no main page where all blogs could be accessed. Chang: “Having a clearly laid-out, colorful, interesting, and descriptive main blog page is essential, especially for those newspapers that have over a dozen blogs.” Points added when the newspaper told readers what blogs and blogging were all about. Sara Williams said she wanted “some explanation of what they are trying to do with their blogs, or what blogs are on a more basic level.” Jessing-Butz: “Any explanation of blogging and what the paper hoped to gain from including it scored major points.”

Show commitment! “How serious of an effort did the newspaper make to enter into the blog world?” is the way Chang put this one. Galanis agreed. “Not only did blogs have to be active, offer permalinks, categories, archives, an RSS feed, and comments, but the blogs also had to be participatory and have a coherent sense of the author’s voice.” That’s being serious. Renee Alfuso: “The most important thing for me was that the Web site could stand out from the newspaper itself and really make use of this new medium rather than just be the online version of the paper.”

Why the winners won

The Specials had their reasons:

The Chronicle was a runaway choice for top blogging newspaper. “The wizards of blogging in my opinion,” Andre Henry says. Points-wise, it wasn’t close. (128 to 69 for the second site.) The Chronicle is not the most adventurous in what it blogs about (exception: Bar Tab) but the site does everything well, starting with its Blogs main page, which features—before you get to any staff blogging— a section called Chron.commons, “Blogs from our Readers.” (They weren’t the only ones to do this.)

“This had pretty much everything I was looking for,” wrote Jessing-Butz. “It’s very evident that people read these; they comment on them. The page is easy to find and easy on the eyes. The writing is fun and clear. ” Krase: “The Chronicle makes access to archived blogs easy.”

Many of the Blue Plates singled out for praise the Chron’s event-specific blogs, including Voices of Katrina (“Stories from the aftermath of the storm”) and two Enron blogs: one for legal commentary, the other a newsy trial watch . “The thing that really got me was About:Chron,” writes Lauren Dzura. It’s editors-explain-newspaper. “It gave me a more personal relationship with the paper.”

Another favorite was Shop Girl, as in girls shop. “When great online finds are just a link away, it’s like having a personal shopper on your computer,” said Alfuso. There is something logical about that. Special mention goes to MeMo by deputy managing editor for features Kyrie O’Connor. Her blog—which is things she finds amusing or unusual—began as a memo to her feature writing staff and grew into a blog, not the usual path. See her nifty FAQ too.

McLean on the Chron’s approach: “Seven of the more popular blogs can be reached by a drop down menu on the front page. Clicking on the tab itself links to a page where all the blogs are featured.” Smart touches. Patrick Akhidenor said blogging aligned the Chron better with readers so that the site could “alternately inform, and be informed by them.”

The Chronicle “has gone down the route I would like to see all newspapers go,” wrote Galanis. He pointed to Dwight Silverman, the interactive journalism editor, writing in the dead tree newspaper about the changes blogging would bring to the Chron as a whole. When Silverman announced an update to Movable Type, “he essentially marked the rebirth of the Chronicle, and sealed the newspaper’s top spot in my ranking,” Galanis said.

(Also in Blue Plate Special: see K. Paul Mallasch, What the Chron Thinks it’s Doing.)

The Blue Plate Special team had high expectations for blogging at the Washington Post because… it’s the Washington Post. Surprisingly, most of these were met. Galanis praised the “variety of blogs written with the same standards of quality the paper is known for.” Most of the Special-ers were impressed if not amazed by how busy the Post comment sections were. Of course it’s a high traffic site.

The Post was found to have writers who spoke with real authority or displayed extraordinary talent— led by Joel Achenbach’s Achenblog, which drew the most praise of any newspaper blog the Specials saw. “Achenbach pulls off the lofty task of making his blog more than just an online column,” writes Alfuso. “He covers other blogs, receives tons of comments, and doesn’t confine himself to one particular topic.” Krase is blunter. She likes his “his snarky and sarcastic writing tone.”

“Easy to navigate and the blogs were extremely well-written and developed,” said Ocampo. “And thrown into the mix, a smartly written fashion blog, which I loved.” Also cited for excellence were The Fix, Chris Cillizza’s politics blog, and Jefferson Morley’s World Opinion Roundup. People sometimes call Dan Froomkin’s White House Briefing a blog, but it’s really a Web-only column, and blogging software does not create it.

The Post also deserves mention for its Technorati-powered links to bloggers on all articles—a major step forward announced in August ‘05—and the new tags it’s now added to stories.

No surprise that USA Today’s blog section set the standard for visual quality. “Which in my opinion shows how much they care about their blogsite,” said Andre Henry. Just take a look at the author’s photo for Hotel Hotsheet, a blog for travelers. There’s also one about air travel, which makes sense. (When it made sense for this newspaper to do that blog, the Specials tended to give points.)

USA Today got high marks for ease-of-use, information richness, and newsiness. Particularly notable: Dispatches from Iraq (words and pictures by Kimberly Johnson) and On Deadline, a blog for breaking news— or maybe it’s breaking links. “A lot of outgoing links to relevant sites,” says Chang.

Ocampo observes: “Lots of personality in all of their blogs. Although I was quite skeptical of their weather blog, thinking it was going to just give daily updates about the weather, [it] made a seemingly boring topic quite interesting. The site also looked great. I especially liked the graphics they used for each blog - the weather guys with an umbrella, the tech space blogger with a cell phone and iPod headphones.”

Chang noticed a weakness. “More often than not, the comments sections are completely empty, like a ghost town,” she said. “It’s surprising because it’s a national paper. The comments, however, are administrator-approved.” And that is probably the reason.

(More Blue Plate Special: Michael W. Andersen talks blogs with USA Today’s executive editor Kinsey Wilson.)

Willing to be somewhat weird. That’s what the Specials noticed about bloggers at the St. Pete Times. It’s an approach more blog-inspired than newspaper-bound. There’s Stir Crazy, directed by Janet Keeler. (The plot: “It’s 3 pm… Do you know what’s for dinner?”) There’s Ill Literate, “Our world through the diseased mind of Rick Gershman.” Blog-like.

The home page offers a simple definition of what, exactly, a blog is. (“A web log — commonly called a blog — is an online journal written by an individual or group of individuals. It can read like a personal diary, an informal news provider, a collection of cool web links and anything in between. Comments from readers are encouraged and are shared with the blog’s audience….”)

The St. Pete Times is owned by the Poynter Institute, not some soulless media company. Their approach to blogging is “slightly off-beat, but clearly explained,” as Jessing-Butz puts it. Many of the Specials noticed Stuck in the 80s, complete with memory-inducing pop tunes. (Blogs for which there are logical soundtracks: good idea.) Next to the Post’s Achenblog it was the Blue Plate team’s favorite, probably because most were born during the 1980s.

This was a case where the size of the project impressed enough of the Specials. “A massive selection of blogs,” wrote Akhidenor. “One has the feeling that the Atlanta Journal is simply throwing them all out there to see what sticks. Surprising amounts of the blogs do, indeed, stick.” Some notables: dating in Atlantagetting out of Atlanta… and plants.

Jessing-Butz said it was “waaaaay more blogs” that distinguished blogging at the AJC. “I also liked that there were several sports blogs (Chop Chick, Ice Princess, the Bird Babe) that gave a female fan’s perspective on sports. The page is easy to navigate (except for when those damn interactive hockey ads pop up), although the design is nothing special, it is clean and simple.” Three sports blogs by women. That’s what you get when you have lots. The Specials felt there was something to be said for that.

Emily McFarlan noticed some “strange and unblog-like conventions” at the AJC site. “While their writers are full of personality and passion for a wide variety of subjects, many of their blogs (including Get Schooled (education), Gotta Go! (travel) and Fish Tank (acquarium) are open to comments only during standard business hours.” What’s up with that?

This site also won points for its break-loose feel and long list of blogs. “A lot like the St. Petersburg Times: very wide range of subjects, some really off-the-wall,” says Jessing-Butz. That would include beer (“the latest beer-related news”) bowling, pets, and poker.

Then there’s Mommies Musing, written by “a group of female journalists connected by a newsroom and bonded by motherhood.” They also have a site with more. Here the bios of the 12 contributors are found (the pics cleverly include their kids) along with other resources, and an invitation to be a guest writer.

The Express-News is owned by the Hearst Corporation, which also owns the Houston Chronicle, among other properties. The MySA Web site is co-owned and home page to two newsrooms: the newspaper and, KENS, channel 5 in San Antonio. Obviously the Chron’s example has had some effect, but consider the possibility in San Antonio: the best bloggers promoted off the home page, but also on TV.

Honorable mentions.

We decided two blogs deserved honorable mention not for overall excellence, but for pushing the boundaries of newspaper blogging.

First is the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which for a while became its blog because nothing else worked as well. (We’ll let Mark Glaser tell you about that.) What happened at the Nola blog (now the Nola View) and the forums it linked to during and after Hurricane Katrina is, to Alfuso, “a whole other level for blogging and how much potential it has as a medium.”

After Katrina, the Times-Picayune used blogging to impart vital information to readers but also to inject a sense of normalcy. With a huge population in exile, and enormous projects to come, there would seem to be an urgency to “interactive” journalism in Nola that is found nowhere else. At the Times-Picayune they already know a blog can be the newspaper. There have to be creative consequences to that.

The Oklahoman didn’t start blogs for its newsroom staff. Instead the site has a page of “community bloggers,” young people who have applied to become a featured blogger. They were given little instruction, other than, “Have fun.” But they get promoted at the site and there’s an enticing home page.

One writes on what makes Oklahoma City surprisingly interesting, another on what passes for fashion there. “I think they were very innovative in letting young people blog about their city,” said Dzura. It’s certainly a different approach: bring bloggers from the outside in, and let that be your section.

Frankly, the quality of writing and observation is not there yet, but an idea is. You can hear it in their invitation at the bottom of the blogging main page.

“Do you have eyes? Do you have ears? Can we borrow them? LOOK@OKC is always looking for young adults in the Oklahoma City metro area to become trusted bloggers for the community. If you have something interesting to say, and have the commitment to say it on a regular basis, then you might have the ability to become a LOOK@OKC blogger. Just fill out the form…”

There’s something honorable about that, so the young adults on the Blue Plate Special team thought they should mention it. Especially since seven years ago the Daily Oklahoman was called the worst newspaper in America.

Links, Notes and After Effects...

by Emily McFarlan
Correspondent for Blue Plate Special

(March 14) I have a lot of hometown pride. I have a "Greetings from Springfield, Illinois" poster on my wall, a "Proud to be from Springfield" T shirt, and a statuette of Springfield's most famous former resident, Abraham Lincoln, on my desk. This weekend, two F2 tornadoes ripped through the town. Now Mayor Tim Davlin says it looks like pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, Springfield's State Journal-Register didn't rise to the occasion in the same way the New Orleans Times-Picayune did. The Times-Picayune's honorable mention nod, I realize, is incredibly well-deserved.

Liberty (in Galveston) looks at our number one pick, the Chron.

And Alice Marshall has an interview on blogging at WaPo with Ann L. McDaniel, vice president of the Washington Post Corporation.

Dayton Daily News education reporter Scott Elliot asserts that “DDN Blogs Rock.” They do, actually. The Dayton Daily News was among our finalists. Check them out.

Urban Elephants tackles the one in the (class)room: What is a blue plate special?

It’s midnight, and we’re shining a light on CCR fan and tomato aficionado Rachel Sklar, formerly of Fishbowl NY. She says about us: “Editors should take notes and thank them for the free consulting services.” We’d charge, but that would make us TimesSelect – one reason the New York Times didn’t make our best blog picks.

Costa Tsiokos zeroes in on the lack of reporters’ blogs, even at the best blogging newspapers, and points out a factor we may have overlooked in what dictates the success of a newspaper’s blogging efforts: the incorporation of blogs into news stories. In this capacity, he compares reporters’ blogs to “the extras you find on a movie DVD.”

In seeking out the best blogging newspapers in the country, it seems we may have inadvertently found the answer to the question, “What makes a good blog?” At least, Jeff Ooi thinks so. (He's in Malaysia and knows blogging as few do.) He also defends us against those who would call bloggers “nothing-better-to-dos.” Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jeff!

Another perhaps unintended result of our first Special: we were the whip one self-described Geek used to scourge his hometown newspaper. Ouch!

Here at Blue Plate Special, we're all about keepin' it real. Mark Fletcher takes a break from critiquing Australian newsagents to comment on our work: "It also legitimises blogging for the newspapers yet to discover the medium and prods those who support what I'd call ghost blogs - blogs which are not the real deal."

Real lawyers have blogs. They also encourage bloggers to interact with their newspaper counterparts.

And finally, a reminder from Media Culpa: Support your local blogs! They’re blogging it in Sweden. But the Swedes don't seem to be reading. Anyone know why?

Comments (25)

Congratulations, folks. The site looks great.

I already get the feeling your rankings and eye on theis interface will drive competition for better newspaper blogging.


What about the Greensboro News and Record? TONS of blogs there….

Joey: Limits of our method. They are not in the top 100, circulation-wise. This isn’t a study of “newspapers” but of an old media sector trying to get young— newspapers with 100,000 plus paid print subscribers.

Great to see the Special up and running. I found your student’s work to be what I had hoped they would be and will be adding Blueplate to my blogroll.

I am very pleased at the enormous changes that have occured at the Houston Chronicle over the past year. I wrote about this very subject in December.

If you resent seeing a link to a story, only to see it blocked due to some idiotic registration requirements, if you realize the value in having genuine feedback to news articles that you have a different take on, please support what the folks at the Houston Chronicle have done. Link ‘em, drive traffic to ‘em. Show the brass at these newspapers that online revenue is important. And no, I have no connection to the Chron other than I appreciate what they have done.

I’m pleased to see the Post turned in a good performance, especially with all the, ah, difficulties they’ve had lately…

BTW, I only count eight criteria, not nine?

Good job, indeed!
I wrote about the Blue Plate (in Italian, unfortunately) and I wish there could be an European Jay Rosen to do the same thing with the Old Continent’s newspapers (old from the bloggers’ point of view too).

You should check this one out. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman’s BorgBlog was launched on the Web site Jan. 1. It provides an over the shoulder look into Jim’s sketchbook as he develops his cartoons and his written comments about what goes on inside his head as he works to create his cartoons.

Kudos to the newspapers who are on top of this fast moving sectorin the news industry. You also ought to take a look at local online newspapers that have sprung up which serve communities that don’t have good local coverage. These electronic newspapers draw on local reporters to provide timely news coverage of strictly local events. The in the northwest corner of Connecticut is miles ahead in terms of real-time news coverage in an area that is served for the most part by weekly newspapers. We don’t make a lot of money, but we don’t lose money either, and we do have a readership that is now in the thousands.

What a fantastic idea - I hope you get some great publicity from this too! I’ve posted about it on my blog at here.

I may just set my own students a similar task next year. For this year, they’re producing an overview of the many different kinds of online journalism - from podcasts to clickable interactives, forums and video reports. You can find links to most of them here.

Ted: I’ve been considering that subject, so thanks.


This blog is a great idea and the list your team has put together is a good way to reinforce and encourage what is good about newspaper blogs.

My list would be quite similar to this, also with the Chron way out on top. They are ahead of the curve. (I’d have singled out Eric Berger’s excellent science blog for particular praise).

Atlanta’s crown jewel is definitely Patti Ghezzi’s education blog, Get Schooled, which generates some excellent discussion.

Greensboro must be just a bit too small. That’s too bad because they are especially progressive in the use of blogs for a mid-sized paper.

I’d also suggest my own paper, the Dayton Daily News (82nd largest US paper), deserves a look. If nothing else, check out Mark Fisher’s excellent wine blog, Uncorked and On the Homefront, a blog for military families by Margo Rutledge Kissell.

Shameless plug: My DDN education blog is Get on the Bus.

Scott Elliott

Great job, Jay — and kudos to your students!

I’m curious why the Philadelphia Inquirer didn’t make the list, they have some pretty good blogs.

Now, an interesting flip-side to this would be to apply to these same major dailies the kind of analysis Ethan Zuckerman pioneered last year to measure a paper’s overall popularity with bloggers. I wrote about this last April: “How ‘bloggy’ is your paper?

whadya think?

- Amy Gahran

Thanks, Amy. That’s a good idea. I wish I had thought of it before because I remember Ethan’s post now that you mention it.

Scott: We had the Dayton Daily News in our list of finalists.

Thanks, everyone.

Have you guys noticed Bruce Bartlett’s new blog at the NYT?

Oddly, it’s under Times Select, and therefore subscription required.

That seems unusual to me …

Here’s a big motherly kiss from South Texas! All of the “mommies” here in San Antonio are thrilled to have been mentioned in your list. And thanks so much for doing this analysis, it’s very informative - especially for those of us who are interested in getting even better at blogging.

Martha: thanks for dropping by. Let us know how that getting better is going once it gets going.

Here’s a very interesting story from a Houston blogger that tells you why the Chronicle won.

Thanks for naming Stuck in the 80s one of your favorite blogs. I have a great time writing it, and it’s nice to hear positive feedback on the work.

Many thanks for the kind words for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s sports blogs. Just one thing to update: We have four blogs by women, including mine, for soccer. Stay tuned between now and the World Cup!

Hi, Jay.

Above, you commented, “Thanks, Amy. That’s a good idea. I wish I had thought of it before because I remember Ethan’s post now that you mention it.”

Hey, you’ve got a cadre of willing students, and there’s ALWAYS time for another project :-)

- Amy Gahran

Great work. I’ve been looking for better places to get education news blog info, and this may lead me to it.

Did you consider naming a few of the worst online newspaper attempts? Or newpapers that are the most reluctant to use the immediate, personal, and interactive form of blogs?

Also, I’d like to add a plug for Scott Elliot’s education blog at the Dayton Daily News.

How about your thoughts on the worst? I would say the NY Times by a mile, not because of how they blog, but because of Time$elect and the contempt for the common man/blogger that this move implies.

> Did you consider naming a few of the worst online newspaper attempts?

The worst are those that don’t blog or aren’t online at all, and presumably there are still too many of them to name.

(if they’re sticking a toe in our ocean, even if the toe-sticking is suboptimal, Public Journalism would say “don’t bite it off”)

(fyi, some of us are better at giving good advice than following it)


Regarding my post about blogs hosted at Swedish tabloid Expressen, there are a number of reasons why people don’t read the blogs. For example:

1) they were late to the table, there are already several thousands of bloggers in Sweden and a number of free or low-cost services.

2) Expressen don’t offer any advantage against existing blog services, apart from the possibility to get a lot of “free traffic” from its site. So many of the bloggers are opportunistic, posting solely with the purpose of getting hits, as opposed to having something to say. For example, many people renamed their blogs to something with “s*x” in the title, in order to rank high in the top list. Others just created mirror sites to their “real blogs”.

3) Bad reputation. A large number of Expressen’s columnists blog at the site, a few very popular but others got mocked because they blogged about trivia like what they had for dinner. “Expressen-blogger” soon became an invective in the Swedish blogosphere.

4) Readers need to be members to comment which does not encourage them to interact, or come back.

5) All blogs are brand new. Getting readers take time, even with the help of a popular news site.

/ Hans @ Media Culpa

Now might be a good time to reconsider the selection of the Washington Post as #2 on the list, given how low they’ve dropped their standards for hiring bloggers. Their latest “Red America” bloggers is charged with being bigoted and a plagiarist.

Should a newspaper’s bloggers meet the same standards that the publication’s other paid journalists meet? If not, why bother reading newspaper blogs?