In what will probably go down as the most devastating week in Miami Herald history, Herald Pulitzer Prize winner Leonard Pitts introduced his new blog, proving that Sylvester the Cat was right when he said, “If you can’t beat them, might as well join them.”
Obviously, Pitts is doing all he can to save his job.
After all, 175 of his Herald colleagues lost their jobs this week, including 50 journalists.
It is no wonder that the man who last year denounced bloggers as producing “bits of unpolished, undigested thought” has decided to join the blogosphere.
His first blog post is a Twitteresque series of fragmented entries written in the present tense but posted in a past chronological sense describing the chaos surrounding the birth of his first granddaughter.
Considering that he wasn’t live streaming, he should have made the effort to converge the boring details of his day – those unpolished, undigested thoughts – into a single blog entry written in the heartfelt manner that has earned him the distinction of being syndicated in more than 30 nationally renowned newspapers.
Because now he is being just as insignificant as the Tweeters he criticized last week.
It’s not like Pitts is unable to write a winner on tight deadlines. On Sept. 11, 2001, Pitts banged out one of the most memorable columns of that godforsaken period, which became one of the most widely read columns after it was published the following day.
But he seems slow to grasp the concept of blogging. Or at least compelling blogging. While many of his colleagues were getting the ax, he was busy promoting his first novel.
Wouldn’t we rather read his opinions on the ongoing layoffs and the ever-declining state of the newspaper industry?
The book promoting would be perfect for Twitter, had he signed up and accumulated a list of followers. But he is above that.
On the other hand, CNN reporter and Miami native Rick Sanchez launched a Twitter account and now has more than 64,000 followers who follow his news updates and provide him with news tips. It should be noted that CNN has not faced massive layoffs.
Perhaps Pitts can take a lesson in mainstream media blogging from Photography is Not a a Crime reader and New Jersey Record photo editor Bob Karp, who is not technically a writer but has proven to be quite a wordsmith since launching his blog last December.
Or at least from Broward New Times reporter Bob Norman, who has been blogging for years and was the first to report the names of the Herald reporters who were laid off, revealing that talent did not save certain people from getting the ax.
Which is exactly why Pitts must become a better blogger.