Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blogs for Budding Journalists

Today a student asked me THAT question again: Is there a future in a career in journalism?

I was a bit quicker to respond than the last time I was asked just a couple of weeks ago.

“As long as there is a need for clear, concise writing and fair and accurate reporting, there will be a need for journalists.” Then I added, "Whether journalists actually will be practicing journalism, is another question." (Two more newspapers tanked today.)

I was pleased to see that my answer didn’t deter her.

"I know I need 'clips' to get into graduate school. Where can I get published?”

The community college where I teach shut down its student newspaper several years ago. It was a poor excuse for a newspaper. Each sophomoric (literally and figuratively) issue displayed its lack of professional guidance and administration support.

It was, in short, an embarrassment.

Then an idea struck me. “Do you have a blog?” I asked.

She didn’t, so I encouraged her to start one. And I went farther. “If you’ll start one, I’ll read it. And if you like, I’ll comment on it. In exchange, you should read mine and comment on it.”

There it was, blogging buddies. Or blogging co-editors. Or co-mentors.

I have no idea what will become of the idea — or her resolve, but my suggestion seemed like excellent advice as a way to prepare for the future of journalism, whatever it might be.

I just googled “blogging" and "buddies” and, of course, got a host of responses. This one seemed particularly helpful.

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