This weekend’s New York Times Public Editor column is like stubbing your toe, bending over to check on it and smashing your head into a doorknob on the way down. You just have to laugh. It’s about “blogs.” What’s the deal with them, anyway? A grizzled newspaper veteran from the Providence Journal wants to know. He doesn’t like them! And that word… blog, “whatever that is supposed to mean.” We should go “back to simply putting out the newspaper,” he writes.
But Times editor Jill Abramson is defensive.
Blogs are informative, less formal, but crucial in keeping up with “a fast-paced story with many different tentacles,” like health care or the French Open, she says. But Times standards are Times standards, blog or not. “Times blogs are never personal diaries,” she insists. Except one time, for a year, Abramson wrote a Times “series” about her dog. It was called “The Puppy Diaries.”
Maybe she forgot that this happened.
But probably not, considering the entire point of the blog (that’s what it was, right?) — a chronicle of her puppy Scout’s first year of life — was to keep a public scrapbook, complete with “photographs and videos as she and her husband, Henry Griggs, take Scout from puppyhood to her first birthday.” This really happened! It sounds like a “personal diary.” It is titled “Diary.” Many would call it a blog.
Abramson might say, well many Times readers have dogs — “more than 45 million households” — and “raising a puppy has become an essential part of American life.” But… but…
Here is a selection from the final installment of “The Puppy Diaries”:
On her birthday we celebrated with a yogurt-frosted dog biscuit at the farm. We invited our friend, Barbara, and her puppy, Xena, who was born two weeks after Scout.
Blog, blog blog.