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Blogging: Fast and Loose

Blogging: Fast and Loose

Deadline Hollywood Daily’s Nikki Finke insists that she is a journalist/dominatrix–not a blogger. I am tired of bloggers not wanting to cop to being bloggers.

Finke should celebrate her blogger status. Because that’s why frightened Hollywood folks tumble over themselves to give her scoops–hoping that they will be rewarded with favorable coverage. Finke’s DHD is well-read by the entertainment industry because it’s a blog. While trained as a journalist, Finke embraces all that is bloglike. For some reason, she wants to hang on to a traditional journalist identification via her LA Weekly print column– which she assembles from the best of her blog.

Finke has a fearsome set of blogger tools.

1. Answer to nobody.

No one tells Finke what to write. There is no boss to threaten, no higher authority or boy’s club member to appeal to. The studios, agencies, guilds and producers negotiate with–and feed–Finke. She is as powerful as any media-monger since Walter Winchell (the model for Burt Lancaster’s gossip columnist in Sweet Smell of Success).

2. Keep it fast and loose.

Finke likes to throw her material up as soon as she gets it, and then add, fix, and tweak throughout the day. And she proclaims her scoops. (While Finke asserts that new rival The Wrap does not break news, Wrap editor Sharon Waxman, of course, blogs back that, yes, she does.) But there are only so many hours. Some DHD stories wind up more reported and refined than others. Some are left pretty raw. And some of the Guild reporting, especially, goes on a bit long for industry outsiders.

3. Lay on the SNARK!!!

Finke throws out plenty of attitude and opinion, as bloggers do, lecturing the Academy on its OSCARS CRISIS via live-snarking, etc. During the Harvey Weinstein vs. Scott Rudin fracas over The Reader, Finke posted reams of insider emails leaked to her by interested parties. Readers scarf up Finke’s breathless urgent BREAKING NEWS!!! drama and no-holds-barred Anne Coulter-style nastiness. (Finke herself is thin-skinned and protects herself from misrepresentation by blasting back with threatening emails to offenders’ bosses.)

4. Post frequently.

“I check Nikki five times a day!” one publicist confesses. That’s because Finke is tireless, obsessively posting 24/7–until she runs out of steam and collapses from exhaustion. Bloggers know no bounds. Smartly, Finke keeps her strong editorial voice separate from the LA Weekly’s ad sales department.

Deadline Hollywood Daily, by any definition, is a successful blog–and Finke should own it.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

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