How do I do these?
First, an overview of how these will typically work. I’ll put up a post here every Thursday afternoon with a Readings section and a Personal section.
- Readings will consist of links on the week’s theme. You are required to post a response to these readings no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday. You’ll post that response as a comment in reply to the week’s Read & Respond blog post (like this one). If there are no readings, this section will say so. There’s no set word count, but they should be long enough to meaningfully address the week’s subject. You don’t need to cite ALL the links, but you do need relevant material from several of them.
- Personal will explain any requirements (specific content, structure, due dates) for the next week’s personal blog posts. If there are no specific requirements, this section will say so.
Now on with this week’s assignment!
As you work to develop your blog’s focus, consider a suggestion from Mark Briggs’ “Journalism Next“: “It’s not about you” (remember: “Nobody Cares”). What can you write about that gets beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation? How can you identify a community with issues that you can participate in and cover? See what examples you can draw from the links below to bolster your ideas.
Now read The Case Against News We Can Choose. This is a classic piece from 2010 by journalist Ted Koppel that gets into those filter bubble and “Daily Me” issues that persist today.
After that, pick a few blogs from this list. Focus on structure, not subject: How do they use sources, and what kinds of sources do they use? How do they build their stories? How visible is the author’s opinion and voice? Are they single-authored or group blogs?
- Coal Tattoo (this WV blog has been dormant since mid-2018, but it’s still one of the best examples of covering a community and its issue, and its author, Ken Ward Jr., is a WVU alum! Check out his Twitter account)
- The New York Times’ blog directory (pick one or two)
- Talking Points Memo (politics)
- Deadspin (sports news without access, favor or discretion – feel free to explore the other Gizmodo blogs linked at the top instead)
- Footnoted (corporate filings, but don’t automatically skip for that reason – great example of mining a REALLY specific focus)
- DailyKos (VERY liberal and opinionated but also one of the oldest blogs still thriving today)
- SCOTUSblog (law blog about the Supreme Court and its decisions – they’re on Twitter too)
- AP Style Blog (fewer links and more expertise-driven than you’ll be doing in class, but notice how timely its posts are – their Twitter feed is often funny)
I’d like you to identify some techniques from the blogs you’ve read and discuss how they could be applied to your concept and first post. In addition, are there any other blogs you’d suggest? Be specific – even though may not have settled on a concept yet, write about some of the options you’re considering and suggest what you could do for a first post.
You will need to respond to these readings in a comment on this post no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 25. A few things to make sure of:
- You’ll be posting from your WordPress account, so make sure you’re logged in! If your name isn’t clear from your username, please add it in to the post (so you can get credit).
- Remember that your first comments won’t show up until I approve them, so don’t panic (but feel free to email me if you’re concerned).
- Specifically address the readings, but don’t just summarize – build on them!