Robert Mackey: Egypt, Egypt, and More Egypt.

4 Feb

Egypt is absolutely crazy right now. It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening, so, for the past week, I’ve been following this guy named Robert Mackey from the New York Times. His blog, called The Lede, (clever name, right? Like a news lead…) has more or less focused solely on updates from Egypt.  I followed this blog a few days behind the first one because I wanted to see how this mess in Egypt would develop.

One thing I noticed is that this blog  focused more solely on international events than a mix of national and international news. I really appreciated that because it’s easy to follow what’s going on in America through the news and other sources. Though international news is also covered, it’s hard to find an in-depth explanation or day by day update on events. That’s probably what I liked best about Mackey’s blog: he’s clearly passionate about informing people about Egypt’s situation and he really committed to doing just that. In fact, he blogged about nothing but Egypt for the past week. That’s about as in-depth as you can get.

Mackey really embraced the whole “being an online journalist” gig, because he incorporates multimedia aspects like Youtube videos of the protest and slideshows of relevant facts and information for readers to check out. This is really important because we all know our attention spans are only so long, and we unfortunately need constant stimulation to stay alert, even when one of the biggest events in history is happening right before our eyes. Heaven forbid we simply read the story and gasp at the reality that IS Egypt right now; we obviously need interactive maps and slideshows!

In my opinion, one of the most important things a writer can do is defend his or her work at a moment’s notice. Mackey does just this when readers comment on his blogs. Whether the comments are positive or negative, he responds to nearly all of them and gives reasonable explanation behind his point of view. This is really encouraging because the reputation he’s building with his readers is strengthened each time he answers a comment. When readers see that the person behind the blogs is real, the reporter’s credibility skyrockets. Who would’ve thought something as simple as having the decency to comment back would be so important?

Though Mackey was all over the reader-reporter interaction, he definitely slacked in keeping his blogs short, sweet and to the point. He has this tendency to write a lot. And I mean a LOT. He’s obviously one of those people that writes like he talks, and well…let’s just say he’s very long winded. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the crisis in Egypt definitely deserves a lot of attention, but if Mackey could have broken up some of his longer blogs into two or three separate entries, I think that would have added to the visual appeal of his site.

At the end of the day, Robert Mackey is a blogger at one of the most respected papers in the nation, but even people at the top can use some constructive criticism every now and then. Keeps them humble, and there’s nothing wrong with that.


4 Responses to “Robert Mackey: Egypt, Egypt, and More Egypt.”

  1. ashleylgm February 5, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I looked up The Lede after reading your analysis. I appreciated how he added the map, to show readers where the action was taking place. I also liked that he tried to compile as much information as possible through multiple news sources, so that his readers could have access to all that information.

  2. danifelice1124 February 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    It’s funny how two people can analyze a blog SOOOO differently. I did The Lede as well and actually kind of hated it. I don’t like politics anyways but his blog was OVERLY long to the point of excessive information. Also, I didn’t see him respond to readers hardly ever, so we should sit down and go over this together. Maybe there was something we both missed. Great post girl!
    `Danielle Cook

  3. JD February 8, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Hmm… I was intrigued by your blog entry. It made me want to go check this guys out. Then Danielle said she did not like it and said it was highly political and excessive information, things I don’t have the time or patience to pay attention to. Had I not read the comments, I would have checked it out though. You were quite adamant about him!

    Also, your link to the youtube video cuts out before the ‘t’ of “protest”. Just thought you would like to know.

  4. ldpatmon February 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    You had great links and your article was very interesting to me, probably because I’m majoring in international relations. The Lede is a very interesting blog that I’m going to follow.

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