Read & Respond week 2: Getting started

First, an overview of how these will typically work. Just about every week has an assigned reading from the Mark Briggs textbook, Journalism Next. In addition, I’ll typically put up a post here (usually by Thursday) with some links to online readings. You are required to post a response to these readings no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. You’ll post your response as a comment in reply to the Read & Respond blog post (like this one).

Your response MUST address the week’s Briggs chapter and should add some elements from the online readings. You don’t need to cite all the links, but you need to connect them (or other examples) to Briggs for full credit. Keep these short and to-the-point (they’re only worth 2.5 points), but do cover your bases.

Now on with this week’s assignment.

As the syllabus says, you’ll be reading Briggs’ introduction and chapter 1. As you work to develop your blog’s focus, Briggs offers some suggestions. Chief among them: “It’s not about you” (remember: “Nobody Cares”). What can you write about that gets beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation? See what examples you can draw from the links below to bolster your ideas.

Why blogs and journalism need each other (note: This is OLD – from 2003! – so consider how its argument has held up over time)

The Case Against News We Can Choose

Why you should blog

How NOT to blog

You will need to respond to these readings in a comment on this post no later than  11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 21. A few things to make sure of:

  • You’ll ordinarily be posting from your WordPress account, but most of you don’t have one yet, so however you choose to post, make sure it’s clear to me who you are (so you can get credit).
  • Specifically address the readings, but don’t just summarize – build on them!

12 Responses to Read & Respond week 2: Getting started

  1. brittanyangus says:

    In the world of blogging, keeping a fresh and interesting perspective is vital to running a successful and popular blog. In Briggs’ work, he argues that nobody really cares about what you are saying so you have to find a way to make them think they care about what you’re talking about. Blogs allow for a seriously incredible outlet for any topic. From recipes to life advice to fashion and fitness, blogs are constantly being created about the same subjects. To keep your blog from drowning in the massive pile of similar topics, you have to add new information or inspire new ideas in your blog readers. Blogging can be professional or casual, but must always be interesting and informative to some degree.

  2. After reading these readings and the text, what I took away from this assignment is that bloggers need to be smart about what the post on their blog. Readers don’t have time/don’t want to read nonsense; things that don’t interest them or aren’t important to them. Also, if the quality and content of the writing that a blogger posts isn’t well written, readers won’t read and the blog won’t get much traffic.

    Some advice that stood out to me as I read “15 reasons I think you should blog” and “Popular (but bad) blogging advice you should ignore,” was that blogging every day weakens the content of a writers work. Blogging every day doesn’t give a writer enough time to edit and make sure the content is strong. Strong content takes time and planning, and no one wants to read something that someone didn’t put enough time and thought into.

    A lot of people don’t think that blogging has anything to do with journalism, but they’re wrong. Journalists can easily blog about the news and current events that our world is facing. They just need the right guidelines to follow in order to blog properly and drive traffic to their blog. Although, this is a new and different form of journalism. Most of the news we encounter daily becomes available through Weblogs, as stated in the Nieman Report reading. Journalism is, in fact, a major component for blogging. There will always be things to write about with journalism, and blogging is one way to effectively do this.

    Posted by Lydia Alexander

  3. ostarabanova says:

    Sasha Tarabanova JRL 430 Fall 2016

    I like how Briggs mentions how it is important for the younger generation of journalists to be open-minded, flexible and be ready to incorporate all the technological advancements in their careers. It is interesting how some new media tools can actually add so much novelty to traditional journalism. For example, blogging can be viewed as an extension of traditional journalism, even though some old school journalists do not acknowledge bloggers as journalists. They might not be journalists and they might not being paid for what they bog about, but if they provide more detailed, accurate and relevant information, if they do not lie, if they are original and incorporate their own video/pictures, in my mind this is journalism. What is more fascinating is that pretty much anybody can provide ‘random acts of journalism’, there are no gatekeepers who would filter the information first. Of course, this might be a bad thing as well, especially if a blogger is not familiar with law and ethics.

  4. Bobby Surella says:

    The key element that struck me in this week’s reading came in the introductional section of the Brigg’s reading where he talks about how journalism has made the transition from “bottom up” to “top down.” If there is anything I’ve noticed changing in journalism it’s the amount of freedom writers and contributors seem to have in their media compositions. Even at the Daily Athenaeum this year the transition has been made from an everyday print edition paper to a equal-part print and blog platform with varied content split between each. This model is reflected in the “Blogging Advice You Should Ignore” reading where the author talks about how blogging every day causes your blog to suffer in that it prevents you from polishing your work and giving it more time to gain appreciation and eventually a significant following.

  5. kameronduncan says:

    I think that some of the best advice that the readings gave was to not write every day. As the article suggests, writing every day will not only cause the quality of your writing to suffer, but once you obtain a readership, you can burn your readers out by giving them too much content at once. People won’t want to read something every day, but if a blog is updated regularly with interesting, engaging and quality content, people will be more inclined to read the blog for a longer period of time, and also tell others about it.

  6. smarino92 says:

    This is Sarah Marino, it says I’m posting with my wordpress account but just wanted to be sure. Also, I hope I am doing this right, please let me know if I am not.

    I think reading these few separate things I can both agree and disagree with what they’re trying to say. I think blogging is a good idea, I have my own blog with my work in it, and I usually try to work on things I enjoy so the story is compelling because otherwise I get lost in it and it becomes more of a task than good story, but obviously I realize that I won’t always have “fun” writing about something, but getting off topic here. I think journalism has taken a shift into the online world tremendously because this generation has lost it’s attention span. Scrolling through facebook, you want to read an article with a compelling picture, and maybe 500 or less words, a “quick hit” story if you will. Also, facebook is usually tailored to your personal likes, music, movies, etc, so you rarely explore other topics because they really aren’t presented to you. I guess I don’t see where people go out seeking and reading other people’s blogs, especially if they are not notable journalists, or journalists at all. I wonder if that leads to discrediting actual journalists, and does it hurt the industry in the long hall? I read the news alone more than I watch it on tv, but I’m getting it from a news website, not from a blog. However, I do follow some smaller news outlets that post similar things but I like a fresh take. The mass media, as of late, as really been disappointing me.
    As far as ways to blog or not to blog I guess I wouldn’t know one way or the other. I understand not being controversial but at the same time people are always getting involved in the conversation, and not everyone is going to agree. Everyone seems so one track mind anymore and thinks there’s only one right and wrong way of things, but I try to think outside the box and for myself, though I do acknowledge other’s opinions. Anytime I read ANYTHING I always read through some of the comments to see how people are responding and what they are saying to each other, there’s ALWAYS someone who has something contrary to say, and I’m not saying it’s cool to fight but some healthy debate is always welcomed it gets people thinking.
    Overall, do I think blogging and journalism are tied together, yes and no. I think it’s good to separate what is journalism and what is someone who doesn’t have media training who is biased and mixing their opinion into it. There is a difference between a journalism and an activist, I’ve heard professors say things like that even. All in all, a lot to think about, and compelling to discuss as well.

  7. Alexa Ciattarelli – R&RW2

    While reading each of the assigned posts, I found myself questioning my choice of major. As The Washington Post article, written by Ted Koppel, says, broadcast news “will soon be overtaken by scores of other media options”. So what am I doing going after a career in journalism?

    My question was soon answered as I continued reading. As younger and younger children get iPhones, and peoples reliance on technology increases, online sources of news are becoming more and more common.

    As a broadcast news major, I spend each morning studying the anchors that I have admired since a young age. Sade Baderinwa, Bill Ritter, and Robin Roberts are just some of the many I have aspired to be like. To hear that people are straying away from such credible sources like Good Morning America, or New York ABC Channel 7 News, I couldn’t understand.

    Clay Shirky put it into perspective. As a professor at NYU, Shirky explains the difference between traditional news source and web communities. “The order of things in broadcast is ‘filter, then publish.’ The order in communities is ‘publish, then filter.”

    The online news sources serve as personal journals for writers, and present a multitude of different perspectives and opinions to readers. It’s fascinating in the sense that people are leaning toward reading opinionated posts.

    But writer’s opinions are not the only benefit of blogs. As written in Journalism Next, by Mark Briggs, blog-publishing is most often immediate, and allows room for interactivity – a feature not available to television journalism.

    I think that peoples increased reliance upon blog posts and online news sources as come from our increased use in technology and reliance upon immediate gratification.

  8. Michala McCullough says:

    My favorite line from the introduction chapter of Briggs has to be, “You don’t need to confine yourself to the road traveled before you–the opportunity to chart your own course is not only available: it’s mandatory”. I think in today’s employment world being able to find your own job is crucial. If you approach a news outlet and say, “I’ve noticed you’re lacking in XYZ areas and here is what I would do to fix that,’” they would be more receptive to hiring you as opposed to coming in with nothing.

    In The Washington Post article, Koppel talks about the budget cuts that are still causing traditional news jobs to be overrun and eliminated and that conversation is a big key in the reason why new media personnel need to be able to find their own jobs. Traditional jobs that we would take are being eliminated and we need to be able to connect what we know how to do with what news outlets need.

    The biggest thing that I found to be helpful in the first chapter had to be the section on RSS Feeds. I’ve always known that they exist but I was never interested in learning how to utilize them properly. The HTML talk was a nice refresher to prep me for the Codeacademy lessons we will be doing

  9. Jaz Brown says:

    All of the readings and links were extremely relevant, as I assumed they would be, but they also provided a deep amount of insight on journalism/blogging ethics and concepts that I never really considered. For instance, in “The Case Against News We Can Choose”, by Ted Koppel the quote “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts” stated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan is highly intriguing, yet plainly obvious. I feel as though, everyone knows that concept but I, personally have never seen the idea put so plainly. People tend to forget that their opinions are essentially, free and, depending on their audience, mostly welcome. But when you confuse your personal opinions for facts, like just blatantly and openly cross that black and white line you are corrupting the mind of your audience. It’s unfair to plainly change the ideology of your audience because you’re going too far to attempt to persuade the masses.

    The pieces provided (specifically “Blogs and Journalism Need Each Other”) helped me understand that, while blogging and journalism may be two extremely different forms of media outlets, I haven’t been fully aware of the extended negative outlook that “old” journalism has for blogging. Honestly, almost everything we, as a society, do on the internet and in our daily lives can 100% be considered journalism. I once Snap Chatted approximately 53% of a Beyonce concert to a majority of my Snap Chat friends and received an abundance of positive and negative responses from doing so; thus creating a conversation. Isn’t that what journalism is all about? The conversation that derives from the information provided. I like the idea that the journalistic relationship with blogging is “symbiotic”, because it truly is. News outlets will warn you not to trust everything you see/hear on the internet, yet they’ll link their main source for a popular story to a Twitter post or something of the likes. I don’t expect blogs and TV journalism to be comprehended in the same mindset (one should definitely be taken lighter than the other) but both media outlets deserve the same respect.

  10. In writing blog posts it is important to be writing about something relatable with most people. While adding a personal touch and showing your personality is important, there has to be an audience. Blogging is journalism like in that way. In blogging it is important to write towards a niche rather than just yourself. One way could be titling your blog toward certain niches. For example, HerCampus and Business Insider have titles that immediately identifies its target audience. This enables the bloggers to immediately add to the conversation while simultaneously suggesting who should be viewing the post. For this class I want to blog about something sports related. Perhaps I can write about something with a strong ongoing audience. Two of my ideas are focusing on a WVU based audience, but I will be able to add more detail to made it not as broad of a topic.

  11. Ryan Decker says:

    Chapter 1 of Journalism Next was partly about things on the Internet that people using the web use everyday, most of the time unknowingly. One of those things is HTML, which helps build the website that you see before you. The coding tells the website how big the font should be, what color the bar that runs along the side of the website needs to be, and just about anything else that you can think of. Later on, Chapter 1 begins to break down creating a blog on It covers things as simple as creating a blog post to be published, to things that can sometimes be a little more intricate like picking the right theme to a website. WordPress has a wide range of themes that bloggers can customize to better fit their blog.
    I really liked reading the “15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog.” I could concur with a lot of what Becker was saying because I have personally had similar results, or noticed similar effects, since starting my blog two years ago. You definitely do become a better writer the more you write (reason No. 1), which in turn does make you a lot more confident in yourself as a writer (reason No. 13).

  12. Jay Rudolph says:

    The case against news we can choose was a great article. Personally I am very big on choosing the news I see and what I follow. I stay extremely narrow with the places that I choose to receive my information from. Especially on twitter and instagram I often only follow the celebrities that are doing things that interest me. With news casts I really don’t follow any particular news feeds but choose to go into further depth only really with ABC and CBS generally. Fox is too much often for me to handle. The 15 reasons to blog all really hit home with me but the becoming a better writer. I want to further my writing skills everyday and really embrace the media journalism major that I am.

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