Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blogwatch Blogger Leaving Ohio dot com

BJ retirees posted today that Val Pipps, a driving force behind much of the Beacon Journals' web presence at ohio.com and the creator of Blogwatch, is leaving to teach full time at Akron U. From the "intercepted memo:"

    Val Pipps has decided to become a full-time teacher of communications at the University of Akron beginning with the fall 2008 semester.

* * *
    Val has been a tireless advocate for Ohio.com in general and breaking news on the web site in particular. From the time Val rejoined the newsroom in November 2006 until March, breaking news grew from 205,000 page views a month to 416,000 in March. He also was a key person in moving Ohio.com from McClatchy to its new platform last summer.

The Blogwatch page is currently empty and, per my RSS reader, hasn't been updated since April 2, though a banner for it still sits on the sidebar of the Ohio Politics page. It's not clear whether anyone will take over.

The loss of Blogwatch is of minor consequence. But if Pipps is as important to ohio.com as the memo suggests, the Beacon had better find someone with his vision and savvy to take over. As of now ohio.com is getting overshadowed by AkronNewsNow. If the Beacon cannot continue to grow its internet presence, it will grow increasingly irrelevant.


Anonymous said...

How is AkronNewsNow considered anything even near piss poor? Maybe you're lobbying for a job there, I don't know. But seriously all their news is "According to today's Akron Beacon Journal" or "According to today's Cleveland Plain Dealer" or "According to this weeks crap Record Publishing paper" etc.

Among news types, they're a joke.

Anonymous said...

Amen. AkronNewsNow today has a business story that the Beacon Journal published April 25. AkronNewsNow picked up the PD story that ran in the PD today. This is just one of examples.

Anonymous said...

I got to agree with the others. 2 weeks ago, for example, ANN did this big expose' on the Bungalo 5 only to retract a major portion of it the next day. I think Pho has BJ envy.

Ed Esposito said...

I don't think Anonymous gets it...we're not trying to be the Beacon Journal nor Ohio.com. We credit sources openly because we view ourselves as both a local news aggregator (see our pages where RSS feeds from newspapers and TV stations are included) as well as our own stories.

Our view is the future lies in serving the community by reporting what's happening, not necessarily just what WE decide to report. Most news users don't live in a vacuum with only one source for news and the arrogance of thinking one outlet rules all is outdated -- just take a look at profit margins of today's traditional media business models to get a peek of what's coming.

On the Bungalo 5 story: clarifying the ownership of the club's building isn't a "major retraction" and the fact is the ABJ picked the story up three days later (without attribution, one might also observe but they are more sensitive...it's why we try to attribute more extensively.)

Consider the Mayor changed policy the day after our report ran despite the behind-the-scenes outcry from a minority in City Hall.

I'm glad to put my name on my comments, by the way. Thanks Pho for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Above. LOL. WAKR'S Bungalo 5 story was off the mark. It would be a good topic for a journalism class.

Anonymous said...

Esposito: Our view is the future lies in serving the community by reporting what's happening, not necessarily just what WE decide to report.

So, what I get from this is that Esposito is saying that IT decides that aggregating - ripping off - MSM media -- is some independent voice?

Hmmm. And ANN isn't about making a profit. Hmmm.

Ya'll go work at WAKR. They aren't out to make a profit.