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Will lawyers step up after this week’s mass layoffs of journalists?

January 24, 2019

Yesterday brought word of mass layoffs at Buzzfeed and HuffPost. Today brought news that Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the country, is slashing jobs across the country. 

Investors are likely looking to reign in losses at the first two and it’s possible Gannett is looking to get more profitable asap now that a hedge fund known to be the death of journalism for its previous acquisitions is looking to acquire them.

No matter how you slice it though, there will be more a thousand more unemployed journalists by the end of the week. And you can add them to the thousands of journalists who have already lost their jobs.

Some are calling this the realization that the business of digital content doesn’t work. I don’t buy it, people want quality journalism. As a society we require it. 

Buzzfeed and HuffPost are getting slapped a bit by relying on SEO too much.  Packing keywords in the story and in title tags in an effort to game Google and rank high in search diminishes the content and gets journalists focused on the wrong thing. And it always catch up with you.

Good journalism, like good legal blogging, gets ranked without focusing on SEO. 

Rather than rely on venture capitalists and other investors looking to invent the future of journalism, why not people who already have a revenue model for their journalism – lawyers included.

There’s no debating that law blogs are providing some of the best insight and commentary on the law. Some law blogs provide news and information on things never covered before. 

It’s never been easier for lawyers to start a nich focused blog and draw a following of readers. If there’s a better way of growing influence, a name and relationships for business development by a lawyer than a good blog, I haven’t seen it. 

Unlike traditional joiurnalists, lawyers don’t need to get paid for their reporting (blogging). They get paid as a result of their blogging – some lawyers, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and some lawyers, millions of dollars a year from a name and relationships built through blogging. 

We’re not talking content marketing, SEO magnet blogs or, worse yet, ghostwriters putting up content in someone else’s name, we’re talking real and authentic information and insight from a practicing lawyer.

Beyond blogging, lawyers can use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to report and comment on legal developments.

I don’t have to look for immigration news and insight, I get it from immigration Attorney Greg Siskind on Facebook – often on high profile cases he’s involved in. Greg’s been providing the world immigration news via the net for almost twenty-five years.

Like and Google, with Newspack, empowering traditional news reporting companies, LexBlog will do what it can to empower and support law bloggers – they represent the present and future of legal news and commentary.

We’re creating The LexBlog Standard theme (looks just like this blog) for lawyers looking to get up and going on their own blog on their own domain fully supported by LexBlog for $49 a month with no initial fee. 

We’re going to start working with state and metro bar associations to grow the number of law bloggers and to use syndication portals as a way to showcase lawyers blogging and to get the legal news and commentary where it’s most needed. 

And our publishing team is working diligently to get every credible legal blog in LexBlog, as the leading legal news and commentary publication. 

Journalism may not be viewed by most folks as “our business” as lawyers. But it is.

No one is better equipped to report and comment on legal news and developments than a lawyer practicing in a relevant niche. Sure, a lawyer is not going to quit their day job to report, but we’re talking niches (think less news). A post a week is a lot.

A win win for society and lawyers here. Time for a few lawyers to care and step up.

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