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Columbia Missourian

DEAR READER: Of blogs and frogs and other news

By Tom Warhover
March 5, 2010 | 11:57 a.m. CST

Dear Reader,

There is a whole bunch of news you may not have seen this week.

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Broadway Christian Church is planning a trip to build homes in Mexico; Parkade Elementary fifth-graders held a “Celebrate the Dream” luncheon with African-American mentors; and universities around the country are facing the similar money woes as MU.

Those stories and more can be found on the Missourian’s news blogs.

Right now, there are more than a half dozen active blogs ranging from issues of local government to faith and religion across the country.

The newest, Missourian Neighborhood News, carried nine stories on Thursday alone.

My favorite: the frog collector.

Reporter Paul Mossine discovered Jane Weitkemper’s collection. She has frog teapots, frog paperweights, a frog lawn sculpture – her husband, Harry, says there’s more than a thousand frogs in the house.

I love the photo of Jane Weitkemper modeling a multi-colored frog hat at a jaunty angle atop her gray hair.

You can tell: She really loves those frogs.

Here are some other things I learned reading the Missourian blogs this week:

Missourian blog posts are generally more conversational in tone, and often use first person in describing events and experiences.

They aren’t opinion, though, and often contain either original reporting or information aggregated from several news sites.

Sometimes, the blogs concentrate on a single event. There were two blogs for the True/False Film Festival (one on the Missourian site and one on Vox.)

Editors have to make judgments on whether an item should run on a blog site or on the digital or print Missourian.

It’s as much a matter of feel. Does the article appeal to a narrow or wide audience? Is it better in more conversational tone? Is it a little morsel of news rather than a full story?

There are several on MU sports. Starting with the spring sports, they will be combined into one blog so that you won’t find a site with no postings for weeks or months after one sport ends its season.

Other changes are expected in the coming months. As always, I appreciate any suggestions you might have.

Tom