Blogging Kills?

Quiz for anyone who read — or even glanced at the front page of — yesterday’s New York Times: What’s the most-blogged-about story on the Times’ Web site this morning? (Yup, that A-1 piece about how the blogging life or toiling in “the digital-era sweatshop” may not be particularly good for you.

Read it for the alarming headline (“In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Til They Drop”) and stay for the “to be sure” paragraph further along in piece (“To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic…).

Quote to ponder: “[The editor of Gizmodo] said the evolution of the ‘pay-per-click’ economy has put the emphasis on reader traffic and financial return, not journalism.” Among other things…

UPDATE: Blogger Larry Dignan says he was interviewed for the story but wasn’t ultimately included in it and “had doubts about the premise.” “[The Times’ reporter] was up front about the premise of his story: The stress of blogging can kill you. The story was straightforward ‘three makes a trend’ journalism. Journalists joke that three of anything makes a trend. If you get three examples of anything you instantly have a story and a premise for an analysis…”

Plus: “Yes, blogging is stressful. Yes, it can be insane. But is it any worse than being a corporate lawyer? How many of those folks dropped in the last six months? How about mortgage brokers? Hedge fund traders? FBI agents? Any job where you gnash your teeth together?”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.