Blogging and Journalism

Blogs are an extension of publishing newspaper content online that raise some important questions

 

The public voice

Currently, The Mirror gives each student journalist a public voice, but that public is fairly restricted to the on campus population of Lakeland College. When The Mirror goes online, that audience will be expanded. As stated in the excerpt below, many student bloggers haven’t really considered how vast their Internet audience could potentially be.  Writing and publishing online means that you are literally writing for the world. That is an important distinction to keep in mind.

Most journalism students in Niles’ classes know about blogs, but many don’t realize the extent of their Internet audience.

“The only real issue is getting them familiar with the idea that this is going to be read by other people,” he said. “Conceivably, your parents could be reading this (the blog). That usually takes a week or two to figure out.”

from Patrick Beeson’s article (link below)

Journalism ethics is even more important as you venture into the online territory. Revisiting the code of ethics now and again is not going to be a waste of your time.  Whenever we publish anything online, we cannot know our audience. We must write for everyone. I don’t mean bend our opinions to fit everyone, but consider words carefully, so that we may write in ways that do not offend unintentionally.

What does blogging mean for student journalists?

Here are a few articles to consider:

How to be the best journalist blogger you can be

  • Tips for journalist bloggers by Gina Masullo Chen
  • Journalists’ guide to blogging  Don’t let the cute cub mislead you. This page, while it might be geared towards younger journalists, has excellent advice for college bloggers
  • Read others’ blogs. Part of the unwritten code of the blogosphere is that you will read, comment on, and link to other bloggers. Blogging is part of the social network.
  • Tip: When you find a blog you really like, check out that blogger’s list of blogs to find others you might like. Good bloggers will link to other good bloggers and so should you.
  • Another Tip: If a blog has more ads and revenue generating widgetry than writing, it’s not a good blog.

Types of Blogs

  • Beat/Subject blogs: the majority of posts are on a subject you have some interest in and expertise on
  • Photo blog: combine the art of photography with commentary
  • Media reviews: develop your critical voice through a blog
  • Focused audience: write to a particular group, such as 20 somethings or AARP members, on topics that are of interest to them and to you

Blogs you might like to read and link to (Thanks, Danny for many of these links)

The following blogs (by student bloggers) represent many different types of blogs for various audiences. Before you create your own blog, you need to consider your purpose, your subject, and your audience. Most bloggers create an “About” page that gives this information directly to readers.

 

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

 

Why should you care? You should if journalism is a career goal for you. Having an online presence not only helps you create a niche, but your own blog serves as your portfolio, one that is easy to access for potential employers.

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