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Blogging: Fast and Loose

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 2, 2009 at 6:01AM

Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke insists that she is a journalist/dominatrix--not a blogger. I am tired of bloggers not wanting to cop to being bloggers.


Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke insists that she is a journalist/dominatrix--not a blogger. I am tired of bloggers not wanting to cop to being bloggers.

Finke should celebrate her blogger status. Because that's why frightened Hollywood folks tumble over themselves to give her scoops--hoping that they will be rewarded with favorable coverage. Finke's DHD is well-read by the entertainment industry because it's a blog. While trained as a journalist, Finke embraces all that is bloglike. For some reason, she wants to hang on to a traditional journalist identification via her LA Weekly print column-- which she assembles from the best of her blog.

Finke has a fearsome set of blogger tools.

1. Answer to nobody.

No one tells Finke what to write. There is no boss to threaten, no higher authority or boy's club member to appeal to. The studios, agencies, guilds and producers negotiate with--and feed--Finke. She is as powerful as any media-monger since Walter Winchell (the model for Burt Lancaster's gossip columnist in Sweet Smell of Success).

2. Keep it fast and loose.

Finke likes to throw her material up as soon as she gets it, and then add, fix, and tweak throughout the day. And she proclaims her scoops. (While Finke asserts that new rival The Wrap does not break news, Wrap editor Sharon Waxman, of course, blogs back that, yes, she does.) But there are only so many hours. Some DHD stories wind up more reported and refined than others. Some are left pretty raw. And some of the Guild reporting, especially, goes on a bit long for industry outsiders.

3. Lay on the SNARK!!!

Finke throws out plenty of attitude and opinion, as bloggers do, lecturing the Academy on its OSCARS CRISIS via live-snarking, etc. During the Harvey Weinstein vs. Scott Rudin fracas over The Reader, Finke posted reams of insider emails leaked to her by interested parties. Readers scarf up Finke's breathless urgent BREAKING NEWS!!! drama and no-holds-barred Anne Coulter-style nastiness. (Finke herself is thin-skinned and protects herself from misrepresentation by blasting back with threatening emails to offenders' bosses.)

4. Post frequently.

"I check Nikki five times a day!" one publicist confesses. That's because Finke is tireless, obsessively posting 24/7--until she runs out of steam and collapses from exhaustion. Bloggers know no bounds. Smartly, Finke keeps her strong editorial voice separate from the LA Weekly's ad sales department.

Deadline Hollywood Daily, by any definition, is a successful blog--and Finke should own it.

[Originally appeared on]

This article is related to: Media, Stuck In Love, Bloggers

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.