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Journalism Blogs

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Overview of the variety of ways in which journalists use blogs to enhance their work, tell stories, reach out to audiences, and expand their range of influence.

Published in: News & Politics, Technology

Journalism Blogs

  1. 1. Journalists’ Blogs Mindy McAdams University of Florida
  2. 2. “We’re in a battle every day for traffic. People are very, very sporadic on how they use the Web and the sites they go to.” Jim Brady, vice president and executive editor, washingtonpost.com (AP report, Oct. 5, 2007)
  3. 3. What blogs can add •  Background •  Context, analysis •  Expertise •  Personal voice •  Interaction with audience •  Narrow topic focus •  Continuity
  4. 4. Washingtonpost.com has about 80 blogs. Sports and religion blogs have proved popular with readers. AP report, Oct. 5, 2007. Attributed to Jim Brady, vice president and executive editor, washingtonpost.com
  5. 5. The New York Times has more than 60 blogs. http://www.nytimes.com/ ref/topnews/blog- index.html
  6. 6. “The right question is, ‘How can I spend more time with my blog?’ … Rather than assume that blogging is an add-on … taking away time from ‘serious’ journalism, how about treating it as journalism itself ?” John Robinson, editor, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C. (circulation: 84,000 daily)
  7. 7. Robinson usually posts to his blog once a day, every weekday.
  8. 8. Gutierrez spent about three hours a day, most days, on her blog. That includes writing, editing and monitoring the comments. It also takes time to research all the links she included. Bridget Gutierrez was the education reporter and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  9. 9. “Sometimes it takes 15 minutes. Sometimes, if I’m live-blogging, it takes four hours. Or four days.” Jamie Gumbrecht was the lifestyle columnist and blogger for The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader
  10. 10. Guidelines •  Adjust your writing style •  Use links effectively •  Manage comments intelligently •  Decide on the best length and frequency of posts—suitable for your topic
  11. 11. Adjust your writing style •  Short posts are good •  Short paragraphs are good (easy to read) •  Do not be “too” complete •  Do not write like you “know it all” •  Include readers—do not exclude them •  Find an appropriate tone
  12. 12. Short and clear, easy to read
  13. 13. Personal and “behind the scenes”
  14. 14. How to use links effectively •  Not too many links –  “Less is more” •  No “obvious” links –  Avoid links to well-known Web sites •  No paid links –  You will lose the readers’ trust •  Only links that have real value to readers –  Increase your own credibility •  Link text > clear, not confusing
  15. 15. Too many links!
  16. 16. How to manage comments •  You can delete any comment—it’s YOUR blog •  Do not delete a comment only because it disagrees with what you wrote •  Read comments often •  Respond often •  Do not respond to every comment
  17. 17. Length and frequency of posts •  Too infrequent = no audience •  Too many posts? Too much effort for the readers –  Exceptions: Crime blogs –  Breaking news blogs, e.g. floods, earthquakes •  Long posts? Too much to read •  Watch the statistics –  Learn when your readers visit your blog –  Learn where your readers come from
  18. 18. Some types of blogs are updated very frequently
  19. 19. Google Analytics (free stats)
  20. 20. Discussion •  Personal blogs •  Independent blogs (entrepreneurial) –  Expertise –  Unique voice •  Event-specific blogs •  “Live blogging” •  SEO and headlines
  21. 21. Journalists’ Blogs Mindy McAdams University of Florida mindymcadams.com

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