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Who reads blogs?

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The bloggers’ audience widely consists of other bloggers who claim to get their greatest inspiration from reading others’ blogs. Although blogs are stereotypically thought to be used by antisocial tech nerds and writers who aren’t good enough to get hired, a surprisingly large number of women, especially moms, have begun to dominate the blogosphere. Corporate bloggers also make up a large portion of the blog community both in contributing and reading. The biggest audience, though, for blogs, are each of the very specific groups of people bloggers target their stories toward.

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Key to Effective Web Writing

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Effective online writing requires a new set of standards. The rules of english grammar haven’t changed, but their style and use have. The tenets of print and broadcast writing do not directly translate to web writing.

There is still hope. Journalists can easily translate their writing skills to effective web content by following these simple guidelines.

Headline

  • Quickly explain the story – cute headlines are fun, but readers prefer a straightforward account

Content

  • Remember your audience – determine your audience and write for them
  • Consider the most effective medium to tell the story (photo, video, audio, graphics, links, some combination)
  • Slow down – speed is important, but don’t sacrifice content for speed
  • Make meaning – Don’t just say what happened, tell why it matters.
  • Make it interactive – provide worthwhile links

Style

  • Keep sentences tight – one idea per sentence
  • Avoid long clauses
  • Write actively, not passively
  • Be creative – web readers are accepting of breezy conversational writing.
  • Don’t get sloppy – readers remember and won’t return
  • Keep it short – a good guideline is about 800 words
  • Use short blocks of text – 1 idea per paragraph
  • Make use of charts, graphs, information boxes and lists

 

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The Future of News and Journalism

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

“The decline in printed newspaper readership and the trend towards news consumption on mobile devices has taken a new turn with the launch of the iPad-only newspaper The Daily.” http://tinyurl.com/4gyvf8t

While I doubt that news exclusive to one devise is the future of news, the trends, especially for younger generations, is to get the news through an electronic device. I don’t believe print news is going away (at least anytime soon), but I do predict that the future of news will consist primarily on external devices.

News will become more corporate dominated.

With the merger of NBC and Comcast, many are predicting that future news organizations will rely on corporate sponsorship. Susan Crawford, a Cardozo Law School professor who is writing a book about the NBC-Comcast merger says that, “”It may be (that) the future of news is not ad-driven, that it really is a nonprofit business if anybody is going to do investigative reporting” (http://tinyurl.com/4ssnykx). Others believe this may be good for Journalism as it will provide revenue for objective journalists as well as provide credibility for the sponsoring corporation (http://tinyurl.com/4v8zceh)

Corporate Journalists?

As news services are downsizing, many journalists are finding themselves without work. However, as corporations are becoming increasingly more active in new media and consumers are demanding more content from corporations, it might be a good time for corporations to hire journalists. I predict in the future that more journalists will be producing content not for news organizations, but for private corporations. http://tinyurl.com/2uwp8mb

Specialized News

With the increased popularity of smartphones, tablets, and apps, especially for reading news, I believe that news organizations are going to move toward specialized news. People can easily filter through news to find the content they are interested in, and I believe organizations that have a clear specialization will likely capitalize on those markets (http://tinyurl.com/474u9oq).

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Will News in the Future have Values?

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Journalism has always struggled with biases, but will objectivity be a value for the future of news? As I was reading through the description of citizen journalists as a key factor of the future of news in the  first chapter of The Future of News: An Agenda of Perspectives, by Maxwell E. McCombs, Amber Willard Hinsley, Kelly Kaufhold, and Seth C. Lewis, I kept coming back to this value. Journalists, at least theoretically, are thought to strive for objectivity, but can news that is strongly influenced by the consumer maintain this value? While it is impossible to know, I predict that future news consumers will be gathering their news from more sources than they are now, but that these sources will provide less objective news. I am not alone in this thinking: In an interview with PBS, Jeffrey Brown predicted an “erosion of core values” in the news industry, including the value of objectivity. This trend can already be seen in the reporting coming from those who are also serving as doctors in Haiti as reported in the blog The Future of News.

I just came across this blog post by Wayne MacPhail at the Media Recruitment blog. Basically talks about the same thing I wrote above. If you’re interested in reading more about it, check it out here.

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Class Topic Presentation – Bess Menousek

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment
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Blog Post #1

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

I generally really liked this project by graduate students at University of British Colombia’s Journalism school. The idea was to show the various effects of the shrimp industry in southeast Asia, and it incorporated writing, video, photography, an interactive timeline, and much more. Overall, the site was interesting and looked really nice, but there were a few features that were difficult to find. One thing I wish this site had was a more interactive and philanthropical angle. I think news like this is important, and it wouldn’t have been difficult for the journalists to include suggestions or means for readers to help the issue at hand. I think it would be cool if we could come up with a topic that not only exposes a problem but also provides possible directions and means for readers to participate in alleviating the problem.

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