CNN calls halt to war correspondent’s blog–pundits jump into fray
CNN asked journo Kevin Sites to stop blogging, saying covering the war is a full-time job. Not only have The New York Times and The Washington posted picked up on the story, but web pundits Ken Layne and Jeff Jarvis have jumped into the fray.
Jarvis’ comments:
Kevin Sites, CNN correspondent, has been told to stop blogging. Others have
decried this and now I’ll join the chorus.
I’m a big media executive type — in a suit, even — and I have to say that
this is short-sighted on CNN’s part.
I have no idea what CNN’s problem is. I can imagine a few scenarios — e.g.,
some editor worries that Sites won’t do his work (he’s in a warzone; what else
is he going to do?) or some editor worries that they’re not editing what he
writes (if you don’t trust him, don’t hire him).
Bottom line is that CNN proves it is out-of-date.
MSNBC has weblogs.
FoxNews has weblogs.
My big media company has weblogs. Knight Ridder has weblogs. USA Today has
weblogs. The BBC has weblogs.
But CNN doesn’t.
CNN is not only disrespecting Sites, it is disrespecting his audience, and it
is disrespecting bloggers as a whole — which is a mistake, since we, fellow
bloggers, are now influencers. Ken Layne says CNN is the old fart network.
We’re quoting that. It is a meme that can take over — unless some wise CNN
executive sees the trouble and slaps some bureaucratic underling on the wrist
and begs Sites to begin again.
CNN used to be the cutting edge network. It is no more. It needs blogs to get
back to the future again.

Compare this to what a highly placed CNN news executive told me last week:
“CNN does not blog and does not plan to. We prefer to use a more structured form to present information.”
The reality is that media types will complain, CNN will ignore them, and no one there will care so long as they stay ahead of MSNBC.com. At MSNBC.com, they are already having columnists write blogs, and my guess is they’ll be the ones to step up and meet the demand the media pundits will help shape.