Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Eppy Award-winning Blogs, Part 1 ...

Last month, Editor and Publisher and Mediaweek announced the winners of the 10th annual Eppy Awards in Las Vegas. Here's what Mark Briggs, Editor of Tacoma's News Tribune, wrote about Crime Scene KC, selected as "Best News Blog" ...

Kansas City Star editor Mark Zieman pulled Greg Reeves into his office on July 22, 2005, and said, "I want you to start blogging."

Zieman's idea was a local crime blog with "content, content, content, analysis."

"I have a long background in criminal justice reporting, database programming, public-records acquisition, etc." Reeves said via e-mail. "Mark wanted me to take all that and blog about Kansas City crime news."

Attitude was fine, but "this is not a celebrity blog," Zieman reportedly said.

The blog went online Aug. 1, 2005, in experimental mode. Reeves strung out hundreds of crime stories from The Star, and police blotter reports from the paper. He went on a ride-along with Kansas City police and blogged like he was writing a note to friends.

Neither of these approaches worked, however, but the blog readers are enjoying today arose out of those attempts. In the past six months, the blog has received more than 15,000 comments, according to Reeves.

"When comments started landing on my blog, it dawned on me, 'I can talk to these people,'" said Reeves, who has served as a courthouse and police reporter, special assignment reporter and database/CAR reporter over the years. "The interactivity was eye-opening. I was finally learning what people care about and what they don't care about. Now I'm getting 300 to 500 comments a day, and online communities are forming in the blog."

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