NPR finds blogs not ‘resonating’ with readers, shuts down five

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A reorganization of NPR’s website next week will eliminate five news blogs.

Readers will say goodbye Tuesday to the breaking-news blog The Two Way, All Tech Considered, the international Parallels, education-focused NPR Ed and music blog The Record.

“The same stories will still be reported and posted,” wrote ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen in a post Wednesday announcing the changes. “But readers will find them in different places, and the stories will no longer carry those blog labels.” No jobs will be affected, she said.

NPR decided to end the blogs because relatively few readers visit blog landing pages, according to Jensen. The NPR World topic page received 17,847 views May 21–25; Parallels’ landing page had 800.

Sara Kehaulani Goo, a managing editor overseeing digital news operations, told Jensen that as readers’ habits have shifted, more visitors are coming to the website through individual stories seen on social media rather than through a blog’s homepage.

A survey also found that many readers were unfamiliar with NPR’s blogs.

“It became an obvious question then: Our audience isn’t recognizing that we have these blogs, so why do we have 10 brands within NPR.org that aren’t resonating?” Goo said.

Goo added that blogs create “silos” in the newsroom and that by ending them is intended to encourage more collaboration within the newsroom. She suggested that more changes to NPR’s blogs could be coming this year.

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