The Online Journalism Handbook: Why Journalists must blog

Posted on February 19, 2009 By newswala Topic: Media, Onlinejournalismhandbook, Blogging

There is no other way to go about it, so here goes: as a journalist, you must blog to see how humbling, educating and eventually beneficial this is going to be for your career considering the always-on, online, always-updated nature of modern news business. The first thing when you will write for a blog is how ordinary you are because you will have for company thousands, if not million sof other writers writing about the same topic as you, but with different views. Mostly, at first, you will find how lame, same and banal your writing is. It is no different from all those other articles out there. Once you get over the shock of it, your re-learning starts.

1. Blogs allow you to be freer in your writing

2. Blogs allow readers to add their thoughts, because online publishing doesn't end with an article. It is a conversation: Contrary to what some may say, you will find that it is more important to be credible online than elsewhere. If you are incorrect, you may be caught out sooner online than elsewhere. So, make sure, you get your facts and quote right. Once your readers start contributing with their comments and additional information, you will find it worthwhile to offer and be open to all sides of the story.

3. When you are writing on a blog, you also get to read other blogs, learn from them on what makes an online post tick.

4. You can do a million other things with your blog besides writing articles. There are free tools available with blogging software such as Wordpress.org that help you make a social network, add videos, add audio (podcasting), create polls, add ratings to posts and much, much more...

5. When you write a blog, you will learn that writing an article is not the end of it. You will learn to use Analytics like Statcounter.com (free), Google analytics (free) which you use to track who reads what, how and when on your blog. In other words, when you blog you learn more about 'under the hood' stuff, things which normal journalists did not have to do but are necessary when news publishing is shifting to the internet.

6. When you blog, you learn how to shift through a mountain load of information and opinion, it can be any topic. The internet is a great teacher and it is here that a journalist understands that he is not an expert on anything but that using the internet he can point to the best data, analysis and opinion and doing that he is doing a great service to his readers.

7. Finally, when you blog you are trying to connect with the reader in a much more real sense. You go to other places like social networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut, and Twitter where you make friends and pitching your ideas and stories. The modern writer is a master in words as well as relations. Every area for him is a chance to hustle smartly.


Start a blog now. Go in with enthusiasm for all things internet and have an open mind towards everything you find online.

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