In my History and Issues of Journalism class (a.k.a. “The Past, Present and Future of News”), we’ve discussed news in America as it has traveled through newspapers, radio, TV, Internet news, and, today, blogging.
We heard a professor refer to blogging as “participatory journalism”–the future of journalism is a move away from the “lecture” style of reporting and more toward a “seminar” style. That means that regular people like us can just report whatever we want and be our own journalists.
Is my blog journalism? I write it more for entertainment rather than education, and I assume that’s why you read it.
The professor asked our class of 200 future journalists who keeps a blog, and maybe four or five people raised their hands. That surprised me. Why don’t more people–especially journalists, but everyone else too–keep blogs?
You don’t have to write about the news. Write about your life (but no details that could get you in trouble…), write Seinfeld-esque observations, write your opinions on anything. If you have something to say, why not say it?
People my age are searching for unique ways to get their news (loosely defined) and to be entertained. We’re looking for things to do online when our friends have not recently updated their Facebook profiles, when our instant messaging buddies are all away, and when we’ve exhausted our online news sites.
Fill the gap for us. Entertain us. Talk to us.
Blog to us.
If you’re a writer, a blog is a great way to practice your writing abilities and more clearly define your writing style. Are you funny? Satirical? A complainer? All or none of the above? Explore your voice.
Not a writer?
-Speak through photos.
-Or write in bullet points (illustrated here).
If you have something to say, you’ll find a way to say it.
Convinced, but technologically challenged? I’ve been satisfied with Livejournal’s level of user-friendliness–you need not learn HTML. There’s also Blogger, WordPress, and other blogging sites. It’s not rocket science.
When I start writing papers but don’t quite know where to begin, my dad always has the right advice for me: “Just start typing.” Type, and see what comes out. Chances are someone will listen.
(To my friends who already blog–you’re great. Keep doing what you’re doing.)
I’ll stop talking and let you start. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Ready, set, blog!
Editor’s note: When I spell-checked this entry, the words “blog,” “blogging,” “online,” and “Livejournal” were all considered to be misspelled. Gotta love the Internet.