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.

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Best Practices in Blogging

  1. 1. Best Practices in Blogging Presentation courtesy of
  2. 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. 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. 4. Opinion & Ideology • Blogging is often personal in nature and told from a definite point of view • “Traditional journalism” is different
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 10. Omission of Information • Who sets the mainstream media news agenda? • What gets covered or ignored? • Interactive Exercise: Omissions
  11. 11. Selection of Sources • Should you exclude a viewpoint to reinforce your own agenda or belief? • Interactive Exercise: Sources
  12. 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. 13. Examples: The Aggregators • Drudge Report – Conservative in nature – Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton Scandal • Huffington Post – Liberal response to Drudge Report
  14. 14. The Aggregators • Beyond news, there are several popular aggregate blog sites for specific areas of interest • Examples: – Technorati.com – BoingBoing.net
  15. 15. “Crowdsourcing” • “Crowdsourcing” is a new trend in online journalism that has many supporters and skeptics
  16. 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. 17. “Pro-Am” Journalism • Crowdsourcing is often referred to as “pro-am journalism” – A combination of both professional and amateur contributions
  18. 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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