Why be normal?

The News & Observer reporter who covers the Wake County schools has an active blog at the paper’s site. One recent post generated (as of this posting) 40 comments from readers.

Many of these comments, of course, are off topic or lengthy. Yet, buried deep among the chatter, comes a curious request from reader to reporter, with emphasis added:

Please report this in a normal article in the print version of the N&O also.

It’s interesting that this reader sees a reporter’s blog post this way — as less significant, if not “abnormal.” The request also indicates that the post would have greater weight on newsprint than on screen. It’s somehow less serious in the blog format — and of course, not as widely read as it would be in the print newspaper.

As producing print media becomes less profitable and reporting through blogs increases, readers can expect to see more news that appears only on the Web. Just when those posts will have the same impact as a story in the paper is unclear.

UPDATE: John Robinson at the News & Record offers his thoughts on this sort of request.