Singapore Ink has a nice long response to an email interview for a school project on "news-blogging." I received the same email, but since Lzydata's answers are longer and more detailed than mine (and I agree with what he says anyway), I shaln't be putting mine up. However, I will post the preamble in which I distinguish between the kinds of things you can do with "news":
There are different kinds of news blogs, and perhaps you and your friends could start by thinking about what sort of things you want to do with the projected blog (could be more than one).And no, I wasn't all that enthusiastic about "the idea of implementing a programme to encourage students to create and maintain news-blogs".
First, news-reporting blogs are basically publications of free-lance or amatuer journalists. These do actual news reporting, and often in a niche that is not well covered by the usual big news media houses--either because it is very specialised, or because the items covered are not deemed "newsworthy" by the traditional media. There is actually a good home grown example for the latter--see http://harosingapore.blogspot.com/. But see also the blog written by the retired special forces soldier Michael Yon who travels Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., to report on the ongoing military campaigns http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/.
Second, news-aggregating blogs pull together news items from the media houses or news reporting blogs and put up links to them. What's the purpose? If you just take a look at news.google.com and search for "singapore", you will see that every day, tons of articles are written by news people from around the world just on our little country alone. The news aggregator is like an editor who looks for and selects the interesting articles, or the relevant ones, sometimes from hard to find places, obscure sources, etc., and makes them known to the reader via the link (with or without a brief teaser). Readers come back because they trust the judgement of the aggregator (that the stuff he or she finds is interesting) and enjoy the fruits of his or her resourcefulness (so that they don't have to do it themselves). Arts and Letter Daily is mostly like this (www.aldaily.com).
Third, news-commenting blogs gives the writers' opinion on the news items. So perhaps Channelnewsasia or Straits Times or for that matter, the Washington Post puts out an article about something (say, the Kyoto accord), and the writer thought the reporter is talking nonsense, or failed to see some angle, or etc., and writes an argued comment. Or perhaps the writer sees nothing wrong with the reporting, but would like to comment on the news item itself--so China is reevaluating the yuan, and here's my take on what the big deal is or is not. Think of this as a much bigger and much better Forum Page, without the pesky ST editor making a mess of what you write. The vast bulk of the 'serious' blogs are actually of this nature. Some are more specialised than others--e.g., there are blogs by US military personnel (retired or otherwise) who comment on military-political affairs, law professors on legal stuff, economists, political science graduate students, or just ordinary joe, etc. The purpose: to participate in discussion on the events of the day.