As mentioned in class, this week we’ll be visited by
three spirits journalist and blogger Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette. In preparation, you’ll read through Ken’s blog, Coal Tattoo, a widely read blog that’s been running since early 2009 (the Gazette hosts a variety of other blogs as well – I’m enjoying poring over Rich Ireland’s Beers to You, but that’s not required reading). You’ll need to go beyond the front page and check out the archives – what’s popular, what were the first posts like, and so on.
Any good blog (or publication, for that matter) needs a mission statement. Here’s Coal Tattoo’s:
This Charleston Gazette blog attempts to build on the newspaper’s longtime coverage of all things coal — with a focus on mountaintop removal, coal-mine safety and climate change.
Staff writer Ken Ward Jr., a native of Piedmont in Mineral County, W.Va., has covered the Appalachian coal industry for nearly 20 years.
(You can read more here)
Read through Coal Tattoo and think of some questions for Ken. Your response this week should address both the specific content of Coal Tattoo (WV and coal culture) and how the blog works beyond the content level (how frequent are the updates? how does it use things like photos, maps, tags, categories, and so on? what’s the voice? is it transparent in its reporting and dealing with readers?). Identify some comments and questions for Ken, and be prepared to follow these up in class – he may be reading.
Post those thoughts here by noon, Monday, April 18.