Why Should We Blog?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

At the beginning of enrollment in BNR class, a majority of Simpson College students had never contributed to a blog in their life.

Many students pondered about this whole blogging business at the beginning of this course. Why would we need blogs? What are we going to write about for our blogs? How are we going to know what we're blogging about is useful? How do people even use blogs?

Traditionally, blogs started out as being a sort of online diary for people across the world. However, as blogging became more popular, many businesses and journalists decided to contribute to the blogging world to gain publicly.

Blogging has helped the journalist world in all different aspects. Once writers have exposed their work online, they are easily able to catch reader's attention. In result, they can receive feedback and gain subscribers to read their daily postings.

As you continue to blog, you will notice an improvement in your writing skills. For those who have previously blogged, think back to the very first blog you wrote. Now snap back to the present. Your writing portfolio and skills have improved tremendously because of your frequent interaction with writing.

What if you aren't interested in blogging for journalist purposes and promoting business? There are still many different reasons you can post your blogs online.

One last pro of becoming a blogger is you can even make profit from blogging. A lot of people blogging have not found themselves becoming a blogger to make money, but find out later that will end up doing so.

An unknown author once said, "Blogging is the new poetry."

If you have never blogged before reading this article, please consider the benefits of blogging. Go ahead and give starting your own blog a shot.

Photo Credit: Tutor2U @ Creative Commons


Get Media Savvy.

Mitch Joel is the president of Twist Image. He is the author of the book and currently update blog, Six Pixels of Separation. In his blog he offers tips to be more media savvy, for even those who shy away from the media and online world.

1. Be more like a Journalist.
Even if you aren't or don't want to be a journalist you should act like one when publishing online. Make sure the facts you're presenting are truthful and reliable and make sure you stay connected with the online world after you post a blog, status update, or twitter.

2. Be a Human
While you want to maintain professionalism, you don't need to take all the humanity and feeling out of your posts and tweets. Let your human side show, just don't rant, rave or cry.

3. Spelling and Grammar
They're important in the essays and research papers you turn and they're important when you want to look professional on the web. Glaring spelling and grammar mistakes aren't going to get you any great jobs or get people to trust you. Why would the public want to follow and trust in someone who can't be bothered to spell check and edit their posts.

4. Be Skeptical and Check Your Sources
I bet every news source that announced Gabby Giffords' death is regretting not checking their facts before running with that story. Just because you hear something all over doesn't mean it's true. Be skeptical of rumors you hear and check them out with credible sources (as in more than one) before you run the stories.

5. Don't Blow Your Fuse
We all get angry and emotional sometimes, but when trying to act professional and be respected in your field it's best not to do it in front of the people you want to trust and respect you. Remain civil in online discussions and don't start ones you know will get you hot under the collar. Be passionate, but don't let it your passion turn into something out of control.


Lara Logan Assulted in Egypt

Logan was accused of being an Israeli spy and told to leave Egypt earlier this month. After being detained she went back to the U.S.

Shortly after her return to the U.S. she went back to Cairo before Mubarak fled his office.

Logan has made her name as a war reporter for Britain's GMTV in 2001 at the beginning of the Afghanistan war. Later she reported on the war in Iraq. In 2002 Logan joined CBS News.

There are at leased 140 injured or killed reporters while covering the Egypt protests since Jan. 30 according to the committee to Protect Foreign Journalists.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Why journalists use AP style

We are beginners in the journalism world. As students we are just learning about AP style, and it's importance to the journalism world. What is the Associated Press style? We have heard Professor Brian Steffen preach and rejoice the AP style handbook that he had his students purchase at the beginning of the semester, but do we really understand it's importance to us as future journalists?

AP style shows journalists what are the correct ways to write.. It shows the correct ways to write dates, punctuation, titles, addresses, and much more. Why is it so important for journalists to write in this certain way? It is necessary because it could set you apart from being a glamorous front page story, to the stories that never are looked at. AP style is the standard for print journalism, and if you choose to never learn the fundamentals it could cost you your dream job.

Learning AP style can be time consuming and confusing, but will be a great investment for your future career in journalism. It's not even something that you have to memorize. The AP style handbook was created for journalists who are working with a tight deadline, so was created in order to be easy to use.

To help with having to reference to the AP style handbook every time you write a story, memorizing a few important and reoccurring elements of the style would be helpful. Elements such as: titles (names, book, songs, and films), dates, quotations, numbers, and addresses. When you become really good with the handbook you can even go online and take the AP style quiz.

Therefore next time a professor tells you to use AP style, or takes off because you didn't use it properly, don't get upset. He or she is just preparing you so that one day when you get a job in journalism you are more then prepared for what is expected from your future boss.

Photo credit: George Kelly, Flickr


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