Times reporter Matt Richtel cited the recent deaths of two tech bloggers, Marc Orchant and Russell Shaw, who had kept hectic posting schedules, as an example of this possible danger. Meanwhile, TechCrunch founder and co-editor Michael Arrington said he has put on 30 pounds in three years, developed a sleeping disorder, and now has four other employees working out of his home-turned-office.
“This is not sustainable,” he said.
True, blogging is stressful. It’s also exhausting for reporters at traditional outlets, as well as Internet-age shops. And it’s true that reporters and bloggers now risk getting beat on their own turf by someone typing on the other side of the world, a drastic change from the days when the only competitor was across town, or the briefing room.
Yet it’s important to add some context. Bloggers are not the Green Berets, construction workers, or deep-sea fishermen. The vast majority of the time, bloggers are not at risk of dying on the job.
With no disrespect to Orchant or Shaw, 65 journalists were killed while reporting in 2007, including 32 in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. War zones still are, and likely always will be, where the real danger lies for scribes.