‘Newsblogging’ represents the next step in the evolution of journalism, according to its ‘inventors’ SixEstate.com, of New York. Their concept is a startling simple. Fresh, interesting content is the best way to drive readers to a website, so the company marries experienced professional journalists with organisations, commercial and campaigning, that want to ‘connect [an organisation] with news stories, current event, research findings and other topics related to your products services industry or cause’.
Describing what they facilitate as ‘privately-funded journalism’, they promise clients that they will create ‘a leading online news platform around your topic’. An example of this approach is Childhoodobesitynews . It is a news resource for professionals parents and children who are concerned about obesity, and is based on a book on childhood obesity by Robert Pretlow. Pretlow funds the blog, written by SixEstate journalist Pat Hartman. The site generates funds by advertising Pretlow’s book, Overweight, What Kids Say.
Another of their blogs – run for a Denver lawyer, Daniel Rosen, provides a resource for those interested in crime in Colorado, while clearly being intended to drive traffic to the site of one law office in particular.
The company is at pains to point out that the work is undertaken on sound ethical grounds – journalists write only under their own name and have full freedom to write what they want. A backroom team edits, checks, corrects and tags the daily posts.
‘Quality is everything,’ the company’s chief executive David Reich has said. ‘Maybe you can make money selling ads with crappy content but, for the most part, if you want to build and engage your audience and really establish yourself as a leading voice in some area of subject matter, you’re not going to cut corners; you don’t sacrifice quality for keywords.’