An Introduction to Blogging for Journalists

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha and Nozima Muratova

Berlin, Germany- Journalists can use blogs as a way of practicing their skills and getting challenged  by the comments their readers leave. Blogging has become common among journalists worldwide who open their own blogs as it is a cheap and easy way to reach a wider audience and  to  write informally about the subjects they  choose to  and without editorial interference.

Journalists can use blogs and other tools to improve traditional reporting and storytelling.  Concepts like blogging are presenting new ways of distributing journalism instantly and letting readers interact with the journalistic product.

The blog is a publishing innovation, a digital newswire that, due to the proliferation of the Internet, low production and distribution costs, ease of use and really simple syndication (RSS), creates a new and powerful push-pull publishing concept.

Many magazines and newspapers are already using blogging to build their legitimacy in targeted communities and societies thereby adding a new dimension to traditional publishing. Blogs are a low-investment and low-risk enterprise, as opposed to traditional media projects.

Blogs are goldmines for journalist and provide a huge source to tap new ideas, arguments and leads to new stories and for follow-ups on stories on other sites.

With the coming of Facebook and Twitter, it might be thought that blogging would be considered old fashioned.  A blog, short for weblog, is a page on the Internet that contains regularly updated content displayed in reverse chronological order. Web logs, have been around since the early 1990s. According to BlogPulse.com there are 170,639,380 blogs globally, and the number is growing.

Individual articles on a blog whether video, audio, pictures or text are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and  someone who  keeps a blog  is a “blogger.”.Some bloggers choose to collaborate with friends and together open a multi-authored.

Weblogs differ in the type of content they contain. Some bloggers choose to post a combination of text, video and photos, while others may only use one type of media such as video (vblog), photos (photoblog) or audio. A blogger can publish  original writings, videos, pictures or ideas, or can use content that is available and written by other people to comment on. There are millions of blogs out there in all shapes and sizes and there are no real rules on what and how to post.

How do I open my own blog?

There are many hosting software available on the Internet, which allow one to open a blog  in  roughly five minutes. The free international ones include WordPress and Blogspot.

In general, you can open a blog by registering in one of the hosting websites, filling in some personal details, choosing a blog title and a username and password. You would then choose a design for the blog and the option of incorporating several features such as adding  a blogroll which  is primarily  a list of links to  other blogs and  sites of interest.

However, opening a blog does not end at this stage. A blog should  be updated  regularly. Some bloggers choose to update daily (sometimes with more than one post per day) while others may do it weekly or even monthly. Ideally, try to find a rhythm where you can update regularly without feeling burdened. In  general, a regular pace helps you  get it out there and  contributes to building  stronger ties with  its readers, whether they  are other bloggers or general internet users. The more you are active on your blog, the faster it will get out there.

Three things to remember when blogging.

Create good content. Write about what you love and know well. Share information useful to your audience. But, Make sure to check your facts before publishing posts or articles, else you might not only look dumb, but also misinform and damage other people.

Make your readers think, change their minds, or even laugh. Don’t just copy and paste content or news you found elsewhere; tell your readers what you think about it. But also make sure to consider the implications of what you write.

Be social. Try to browse other blogs in the net… leave comments, connect and interact with other fellow bloggers. Share your posts via Twitter and Facebook. Engage in a conversation with your readers.

Don’t plagiarize. Give credit where credit is due. Always reference your sources. This practice is not only important under an ethical point of view, but it also ensures that readers can eventually dig to the root of the facts.


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3 thoughts on “An Introduction to Blogging for Journalists

  1. First of all I would like to say great blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!

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