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May 31, 2018, 1:06 p.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: www.npr.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   May 31, 2018

NPR is the latest publisher to decide that blogs are confusing to audiences in 2018: It’s getting rid of five of its news blogs, with more blog changes (which I read as “cuts”) coming over the next few months.

On the way out: International news blog Parallels, education blog NPR Ed, All Tech Considered, music news blog The Record, and breaking news blog The Two-Way. The content will all be incorporated into corresponding topic pages (Education, Music, and so on), wrote NPR public editor Elizabeth Jensen.

From her post:

Sara Kehaulani Goo, a managing editor overseeing digital news operations, said the moves follow the changing way readers are finding stories. They are far more likely to follow a link posted on Facebook than to start at the landing page of one of those blogs, she said. “At the end of the day, people aren’t coming to us by topic or blog; they’re coming to us by stories; they are very interested in story by story,” she said.

An audience survey showed many didn’t know NPR had blogs. Some who did thought that those pages labeled ‘blogs’ were more personal columns (such as the Ombudsman blog) than aggregations of news stories, she said, adding, ‘It became an obvious question then: Our audience isn’t recognizing that we have these blogs, so why do we have 10 brands within NPR.org that aren’t resonating?’

‘We kind of made it hard for our audience to understand what we were doing,’ Goo said.

Other news organizations have also come to the conclusion that blogs are confusing for readers. The Wall Street Journal shut down eight last summer (the archives remain). The New York Times has closed many of its standalone blogs, including technology blog Bits and metro blog City Room. That one got a Nieman Lab oral history.

Watch out, podcasts. You may be next.

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