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Is Blogging Killing the Feature Story?

Posted by: | September 20, 2011 | No Comment |

Movie rental conglomerate Netflix recently announced that the price of renting films on their site would double by September of this year. Well, September came around and Netflix lost 600,000 members in the U.S. alone. Yesterday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sent out an amiable email to all customers announcing the introduction of Quikster, a Netflix company.

Ten years ago, a move like this would have been followed by a swarm of objective feature stories (and even hard news stories) in various publications regarding the impact Netflix has on movie rental consumerism and the approach it’s taking. Although the same might happen today to a lesser extent, we live in a new age; the blogging age.

Immediately following Hastings’ desperate approach to reel back in the few customers who think Quikster is a redeemable token of his gratitude and guilt, the blogosphere flooded with numerous accounts of the situation, ranging from angry posts to objective posts to even some very humorous spin-off posts like this one about a stoner who already has the rights to the Twitter username, Quikster.

Where once there was a single place for writers to objectively recount the events of an industry-changing decision, there now is an outlet of endless proportions where anyone can take the situation and do it with it what he/she pleases.

In a 2004 post in the New York Times, Katie Hafner expressed what she thinks of blogging’s true charm.

“A few blogs have thousands of readers,” Hafner said. “But never have so many people written so much to be read by so few.”

I like to think there’s a lost art in feature writing, but is blogging killing the feature story? Perhaps the future belongs to a new art of journalism which values writing for the sake of writing; just to let it out.

under: Comm 455, Uncategorized
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