Hiker blog wins big time award

John Muir Trail BlogThe Newspaper Association of America awarded an Edgie Award (that’s Edgie, not Wedgie!) to the Fresno Bee for its John Muir Trail blog.

Four writer/photographer teams were given the enviable task of hiking and blogging a section of the JMT last August. Each team spent eight days on the trail, which was divided into four sections so that the whole trail was covered.

If you only have time to check out a little of the site, at least see this video, which does more than give a nice recap of the project. It gives you a wonderful sense of the misery and joy the eight, mostly-novice hikers experienced. It also offers some inspiring insights into why people hike.

Here’s writer Diana Marcum described her hike:

“It’s harder than you think it’s going to be, but you’re tougher and more capable of things than you ever imagined.”

This site is more than just a collection of blogs, and it’s easy to see why it won an Edgie.


2 Responses to Hiker blog wins big time award

  1. tom says:

    I’m obviously too close to the subject to be impartial, but here goes:

    Strikes me these awards never have the privilege of trying to use the blog live while the event was actually happening — which is the primary appeal of using a blog to tell the story rather than the print edition of the newspaper.

    After the fact, it looks great. In real time, the JMT blog was choppy as hell. The Bee folks were hoping to sat-phone in their entries live from the trail but apparently were unprepared for the fact that sat phones are unreliable in, of all places, the High Sierra. Entries came in several days after the fact.

    They eventually got their act together and overall the blog was about what I’d expect or a paper of the Bee’s size and reputation. Pretty good, but blown away by an average day’s input on Trail Journals. Goes to show where newspapers are going online when a better-than-average blog wins a prize.

  2. cutter says:

    Interesting insight, Tom. I only became familiar with the site after seeing the award list.

    It’s funny (and sad) how most newspapers and TV stations can’t seem to get their hands around blogs. I find myself sometimes explaining to supposedly savvy media people that a comment in a post is not called a “blog.”

    Is that an indication of how behind the curve most traditional media people are, or how ahead of the curve most real bloggers are? I don’t know.

    At any rate, from a hiker standpoint the JMT Blog is enjoyable, partly because it comes from people who aren’t, for the most part, real hikers. The navigation and organization is muddled, but the content is good.

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