Blogger Trades Homegrown Readership For Membership In Press Club

by | Jan 13, 2005

from Wired: After Chris Allbritton returned to New York from Iraqi Kurdistan, he raised $15,000 and headed back to Iraq in 2003 as the first independent journalist-blogger sponsored by his readers. There he risked life and limb covering the war and its messy aftermath, detailing his experiences on his blog, Back-to-Iraq 3.0.

With 25,000 readers a day checking out his dispatches, Allbritton was able to build on this success by securing a plum assignment as Time magazine’s Baghdad correspondent. As a result, Allbritton has had to change his approach to blogging.

“I’m just very, very careful,” Allbritton said. “I never scoop Time, for instance. And I’ve become much more miserly in parceling out my opinions. I place a whole lot more emphasis on the reporting on the blog, rather than taking a stance. This has alienated a significant number of my readers, who have accused me of selling out, going corporate, whatever. But, I came to Iraq to become a full-time foreign correspondent, so them’s the breaks.”

He also doesn’t post as often on his blog anymore, and says he is thinking of shutting it down.