Ross Says Network News Blogging “Changes & Improves The Standards” At ABC News

By Brian 

Check out Mark Glaser‘s Q&A with ABC News correspondent Brian Ross:

  After the Foley story broke and it became a big deal, did you feel like it justified doing your big online splash with The Blotter?

Ross: Yes, very much so. Some of the people inside the building were saying this is a kind of watershed moment for, at least. It broke because it was online and we got the feedback from those who read it and gave us more. It was a big moment, that was driving editorially the news division. At the height of it, we were posting things every couple hours, and there was a large number of viewers reading those things [online]. I don’t think we’ve ever had that, 11 million viewers over that first weekend.

We started just in April, and we’re just in the sixth month of it and it’s been a huge success. It changes and improves the standards of people who are going to be hired by ABC News into this unit. If there ever was a time where TV people didn’t have to write, just had to know what good pictures were or how to get to a fire — that doesn’t work for us anymore. Everyone has to be able to sit down and write a story in an understandable, logical way. Most of our people can do that anyway, but I think that will spread across the network and it will cause ABC to change the standards for hiring people.

If the convergence occurs, the employment skills will be different. They’ll have to be Net-savvy and they’ll have to write. I’m always surprised by the number of people in TV news who can’t write well.