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Princeton Panel on Legal Blogging:

Tommorrow, I will be speaking at a panel on "The Art of Legal Blogging" at Princeton University. The other panelists will be Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog and Alex Wohl of ACSblog. The panel will be held at 4:30 in Robertson Hall, Rm. 002.

I will try to focus my remarks on the contribution that academic lawbloggers can make to public debate. Our main comparative advantage, in my view, is our ability to bring to bear our expertise on particular areas of law and public policy. We usually cannot compete with the traditional media in breaking news stories; nor are our talents likely to be effectively used if we simply cheer on a particular political party or candidate. At the same time, we have to present our knowledge in such a way that it will be accessible to nonexpert readers. Also important, but very difficult to achieve, is the ability to reach out to readers who don't already share our views.

cboldt (mail):
FWIW, I think Lyle Denniston is a treasure (and he doesn't allow comments).
4.20.2009 4:48pm
Just an Observer:
I can see how you and Alex Wohl might be representative of legal "bloggers," but I think Lyle Denniston's role is a unique outlier.

As the dean of Supreme Court reporters, Denniston really is continuing to function more in the role of a traditional journalist, writing straight news stories along with occasional analysis pieces. He basically has transferred his considerable mainstream-media experience to SCOTUSblog, which happens to offer a venue where the legal detail can be explained in more detail.

Both styles of blog publishing are laudable, especially with the decline of traditional newspapers.
4.20.2009 4:49pm
Ilya Somin:
As the dean of Supreme Court reporters, Denniston really is continuing to function more in the role of a traditional journalist, writing straight news stories along with occasional analysis pieces. He basically has transferred his considerable mainstream-media experience to SCOTUSblog, which happens to offer a venue where the legal detail can be explained in more detail.

Both styles of blog publishing are laudable, especially with the decline of traditional newspapers.


I don't disagree. My remarks were directed at the role of academic lawbloggers. Legal reporters who blog are in a different position, especially if they have as much experience and specialized knowledge as Denniston has.
4.20.2009 5:11pm
Just an Observer:
... which happens to offer a venue where the legal detail can be explained in more detail more fully.

Also, Lyle would never mangle a sentence like I just did.
4.20.2009 5:13pm
Just an Observer:
BTW, I was privileged to know Lyle years ago, when he was a senior journalist and I was a whippersnapper. Impressed by the fact that he had a law degree but had never become a lawyer, choosing to practice journalism instead, I asked him about that. He replied, "Jimmy, never think that you must be a lawyer to write about the law."
4.20.2009 5:26pm
Frater Plotter:
Gonna deal with the topic of co-bloggers who run amok posting off-topic political screeds with comments disabled?
4.20.2009 8:32pm

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