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Fred_Vobbe
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Broadcast Web Ideas

Post by Fred_Vobbe » 11-30-2005 08:53 AM

Broadcast Web Ideas
By Stephen Warley

Mandatory Assignment for All Journalism Students: Publish a Blog

It blows my mind when I meet journalism students who don't write a blog. When I was at the RTNDA last year, I asked a group of about 15 students if any of them kept a blog and not one of them said yes. Not one.

As any good journalist knows, print, broadcast or otherwise, great journalism is all about good story telling and solid writing skills. Too often, students get caught up in the glamour of television and never bother learning how to write.

I have a secret to share with all those journalism students out there: the future direction of journalism now requires that you know how to write. You can't hide behind good looks or good delivery. Those days are over. The emperor has no clothes and if you can't write, some blogger will out you!

The future of journalism is about dedicating yourself to a particular expertise like politics, health, finance or entertainment. In most cases it is even more niche than that. The age of "general assignment" reporters is slowly coming to an end.

I would go so far as to say, that writing a daily blog should now become a required part of every journalism program in America. Here's why:

1. Develops good writing skills. The only way to become a good writer is to practice, practice, practice. No matter what new technology comes down the pike, journalism will always be about good writing. Writing is a process. Only a rare few will every be "perfect" writers, for the rest of us we can only improve day by day.

2. Establishes your voice. Blogs are a wonderful device to discover your interests, your life passion or whatever topics you enjoy covering the most. Once again this is a process. Thinking of something to write about every day is no easy challenge. It will force you to dig deep within yourself and to push your curiosity to realms you never thought possible.

3. Demonstrates the emerging dynamics of "conversational journalism". Journalism students today have one advantage going for them at the outset, they will never develop the habits of creating journalism on a fixed schedule. They will start out on a clean slate, learning how to be a journalist in a world where the community will regularly talk back to them and participate in the newsgathering process.

Their stories will be an "ongoing loop," never truly having a beginning or an end. They will act as a "guide," realizing they will never have all the answers, but at the same time, will function as an arbiter of competing facts and perspectives.

Remember, broadcast journalism at its heart is about story telling. For those interested in being on television for the sake of being on television I would suggest a career in entertainment or infomercials. The Dan Rathers, Tom Brokaws, Peter Jennings, Charles Kuralts, Ted Koppels, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyers of the world rose to the top because they chased after stories, not after fame.

Special note to journalism students: By the way, I am forever making inadvertent typos and grammatical missteps. Please call me on it. In the world we now live in, everyone is an editor, constantly helping to tell a better story.

Special note to online journalists: If you have a free moment, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University is conductnig a survey of online journalists to learn more about the skills necessary for the web:

http://newmedia.medill.northwestern.edu/survey.html
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Cherry Kelly
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Post by Cherry Kelly » 12-01-2005 11:44 AM

Interesting article.

Journalism of yesterday has been lost to the "sex/sensationalism" type media writing.

Blogs are time consuming, but there are several freebies (areas where you can set up journalistic blog) out there for those who seek them out.

twobars
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Post by twobars » 12-09-2005 01:18 AM

I hardly know anybody that has time or the knowledge to blog. Coarse for that matter why am I here?;)

So let's b-blog.:D This blog seems very quite, let the noise begin.

twobars

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