In the Internet friendly society we live in today, the popularity of web blogging as increased tremendously. Often online blogs are the first source to break a story, they appeal to numerous audiences, they are easily accessible, and with no editorial process (besides writing format and spelling corrections) the writer is free to express his or her own opinion. As much as blogging may provide numerous benefits, many journalists are not fond of bloggers for its general lack of professionalisms and lack of structure. However as Tom Regan writes in the Nieman Reports, blogging has become a “very influential media tool” in today’s society. It continually helps shape political and social views today, and according to Regan journalists should incorporate blogging in their work as it is a very important tool.
Andrew Sullivan’s article, “Why I Blog” explains how online blogging has introduced a “golden era in journalism.” He agrees that sometimes blogging can create some negative habits, such as the use of slang and informal writing. However, with the bad comes the good, and Sullivan describes the good being the ability to publish articles globally with the thoughts and opinions of any given writer. It is much easier for the general public to view online blogs for current events and opiniated pieces, then waiting for the morning paper or a set time on television to view the news. Sullivan as well explains how appealing the blog format is, with its small, concise, and writing format being very reader friendly. Thus Sullivan explains, every journalist should blog for it will increase their popularity and help express their own opinions.
Feeding off from Sullivan, one of the main reasons a journalist should have their own online blog is so they can build an audience. Sue Greenwood from Staffordshire University writes that she teaches her students to create blogs so they can build an audience for their future journalistic careers. She believes an online blog will help an upcoming or a current journalism create an audience for their journalistic careers. For the sole reason, she believes an online blog is more appealing to readers and allows the author to create their own voice better than print journalism.
J. D. Lasica comments in her article named “Journalism and Blogs Need Each Other”, that blogging if a form of “participatory journalism.” Blogging allows the author to go out and discover their own stories and issues, and not rely on a media networks to delegate or choose which stories should be ran. It allows the author to discover their own interests, and practice their abilities of free writing and having no restraints from an editor. All of these articles express the need for journalists to join the online blogging community for its social impact, to increase a writers popularity and practice one’s investigative techniques.
Many online blogs are as well useful for giving advice and not just deliver news stories or opinionated pieces, such as blogs to help journalism students. Any journalist student should follow these blogs, since they can be useful in aiding their efforts in becoming a journalist. One of these blogs would be Paul Bradshaw’s online blog, “Online Journalism.” Paul Bradshaw runs the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University, meaning he has first hand experience with journalism students. He gives numerous tips on his blog helping students with data journalism, such as “ethics in data journalism.”
Another great blog to follow for a journalist student would be “Wannabe Hack.” This blog is based in the UK and gives numerous tips for any up and coming journalist in a any given situation. Some examples of tips it gives would be advice concerning how to get a job, how to get noticed as a journalist and advice on tweeting from a journalistic point of view.
One final blog a journalism student should follow that would aid them would be “journalism.co.uk.” This blog provides many small tips for a student studying journalism or for any journalism as a matter of fact. One example would be the article “Student summer blog: Initial pointers for other journalists-in-training.” This specific provides many tips for a journalism student, such as how to gain contacts for future job opportunities.