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Newspapers, bloggers now on same page

Journalistic websites see amateur scribes as partners, not rivals. They increase coverage and may share revenue.

October 09, 2007|Alana Semuels | Times Staff Writer

Some popular blogs have been "absorbed," to use the New York Times' term, into mainstream media sites. Freakonomics, a blog about economic thinking in everyday situations, runs on the New York Times site, and its authors share the ad revenue.

Stephen J. Dubner, a Freakonomics coauthor, said the partnership provided an opportunity to be featured on one of the most prominent newspaper sites in the world "with all the readership and support that comes along with it."

The blog gets more traffic on the Times site than it did when it was accessible only at Freakonomics.com, he said. Unlike before, now it can make money.

With the funds, the Freakonomics authors are sprucing up the blog, adding a full-time editor and filmmaker.

Most bloggers are paid little, if anything, for the thousands of words they type. Teaming up with a newspaper is a way to establish credibility, said Dave Panos, the CEO of Pluck, which distributes blog content to a handful of newspaper sites, including USA Today's, through a service called BlogBurst.

"Being picked up by the mainstream media," he said, "is the highest form of flattery."

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alana.semuels@latimes.com

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