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Best Practices in Blogging

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What are some of the best practices that aspiring citizen journalists should consider when creating Web content? This presentation reviews some of the basics.

What are some of the best practices that aspiring citizen journalists should consider when creating Web content? This presentation reviews some of the basics.

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  • 1. Best Practices in Blogging Presentation courtesy of
  • 2. Are Bloggers Journalists? • 52% of bloggers consider themselves to be journalists • 20% of bloggers derive the majority of their income from their blog work • But are bloggers the same as journalists? Source: 2010 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey
  • 3. Is It Journalism? • Most have not “trained” to be journalists – 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.” – 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.” SOURCE: PEW INSTITUTE 2006 SURVEY
  • 4. Opinion & Ideology • Blogging is often personal in nature and told from a definite point of view • “Traditional journalism” is different
  • 5. Traditional Journalism • “Fair and balanced” reporting is the goal • Despite limitations of time and resources, we strive to gather and present facts in an unbiased way
  • 6. It’s not about “You” • Challenge your own assumptions and those of your readers • Logic, intellect and research should prevail over emotion, gut instinct and personal belief systems
  • 7. Bias • Bias in the news and blogging can take many forms – Word choices – Image choices – Omission of information – Selection of sources – Story framing & context
  • 8. Word Choices • Whether intentional or not, the words you choose may reveal your personal views • Stay neutral and stick to the facts • Interactive Exercise: – Word Choices – Headline Choices
  • 9. Image Choices • What graphic or image should accompany your story? • Can you think of examples where the image captures something different than the physical reality of the event? • Interactive Exercise: Image Choices
  • 10. Omission of Information • Who sets the mainstream media news agenda? • What gets covered or ignored? • Interactive Exercise: Omissions
  • 11. Selection of Sources • Should you exclude a viewpoint to reinforce your own agenda or belief? • Interactive Exercise: Sources
  • 12. Story Framing & Context • On the Web, the earliest reports are often amplified by others • Stories are “framed” and contextualized by the journalist (but also by others) • Interactive Exercise: Story Framing
  • 13. Examples: The Aggregators • Drudge Report – Conservative in nature – Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton Scandal • Huffington Post – Liberal response to Drudge Report
  • 14. The Aggregators • Beyond news, there are several popular aggregate blog sites for specific areas of interest • Examples: – Technorati.com – BoingBoing.net
  • 15. “Crowdsourcing” • “Crowdsourcing” is a new trend in online journalism that has many supporters and skeptics
  • 16. What is “Crowdsourcing?” • A collaborative form of reporting • Each contributor researches and contributes a component to the overall piece • The actual story may or may not be written by a collaborator • Content is usually overseen by a centralized editor
  • 17. “Pro-Am” Journalism • Crowdsourcing is often referred to as “pro-am journalism” – A combination of both professional and amateur contributions
  • 18. More Resources • University of Michigan’s News Bias Explored • Pew Research’s State of the News Media Report • PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey

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