Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 5:34 PM

Bloggers and "real" journalism

Last month I spoke with an executive about negative coverage her company was receiving in its local newspapers. I asked whether the company had reached out to bloggers who cover the region or industry to try to introduce a different perspective in to the public debate.

The executive responded, "I'm only interested in real reporters."

The comment was further proof for me that communications managers have a ways to go in educating their companies and executives about the impact blogs and new media sites can have on a company's reputation - for better or worse. Bloggers are increasingly breaking news these days, as opposed to years past when they simply opined on what "real" journalists had published. The lesson? Blogs matter, and companies are well advised to treat them accordingly. Dell Computers is only one example of a company that learned this lesson the hard way.

Check out The Wall Street Journal's interview with Ariana Huffington, founder of Huffington Post, one of the most popular blogs around. Ms. Huffington sheds light on the rising relevance of blogs and how bloggers are giving "real" journalism a run for its money.

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