I know I have been very remiss and hardly blogging at all. I have actually been quite unwell and with the semester in full swing it can be hard to find the time to blog. But I’m back with a few new thoughts for you.
I few weeks ago I blogged on why individuals should blog and I thought I would follow that up with a why news organisations should incorporate blogging into their online strategy.
- Blogging allows direct engagement between the journalist and their readers.
- Almost more importantly, blogging can allow readers to engage with each other. News organisations should know by now that the best way to build a loyal reader base online is to not only connect to their readers, but also to connect their readers to other readers.
- Blogs can be used as a transparency tool. In this example the BBC uses it as a tool discuss editorial decisions.
- A traditional beat can be covered very effectively in the blog format.
Blogging as a journalistic device is still in its early days. In fact, blogging in journalism is one of those topics that can provoke strong emotions. Usually critics of blogs are quick to proclaim that blogging isn’t journalism. This kind of debate is fruitless, as it confuses form with content.
I have all of my students undertake a semester of blogging, not because I am engaging in the blogs v journalism debate but because it helps them build important skills that are essential in the modern newsroom. It teaches them to use a CMS to upload content regularly, they must adapt photos and multimedia so they are appropriate for the web, they get an understanding of how to engage with reader feedback and probably most importantly it gives them a method for engaging with the ever changing online world.