With the rapid pace of new technology emerging in today’s society, I think that modern journalists should be expected to learn and use digital journalistic techniques but still hold traditional techniques. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed news to travel faster to its audiences. Blogging has allowed audiences to interact with other readers quicker than reading a newspaper daily. I see and understand the problem with trying to gain a broader audience through online blogging but if a writer wants to keep up with current trends, he or she must put in the effort to “incite a conversation” with his or her’s online audience.
Robert Niles said in his 2009 article Newspaper columnists ought to be the perfect bloggers,“that what matters most in determining your online success is how your work is understood and acted upon by its audience – more than what your intention with the work was or the process that you used to create it.” A writer can be passionate about a certain topic and write about it online but if there are no readers, then it would just be a random story. If the writer does not put an effort to attract and communicate with readers, then it will fail.
The techniques Niles provides in his article are simple for writers to follow. It depends on how much effort the writer is willing to put. A successful blog is one that allows the audience to engage with the writer through multiple online outlets, allow the reader to provide personal stories to discuss, and to introduce other online communities relating to the blog’s topic. Allowing readers to post about his or her’s personal life may attract other readers who share similar experiences. This may draw readers to an open conversation.
I believe that to become a successful writer in today’s society, a writer must step outside traditional newspaper style writing and be willing to try new digital journalistic techniques. Print journalism is becoming less and less popular because of the rapid growth of online media. In Dana Hull’s Blogging Between the Lines article, she states that some reporters, sportswriters, and columnists have transformed blogging into a full-time job and rarely write for the print edition. Hull said, “the best newspaper blogs generate an avalanche of posts and comments from captivated readers, get linked to by other blogs and, ideally, drive more traffic to newspaper Web sites.”
When a blog discussion can link readers to newspaper Web sites, the writer is developing a broader audience. They introduced a topic to their readers that may bring controversial debates and discussions. Open discussions are generated and their audience are getting involved.
“Social media tools are just that… tools. Don’t become so obsessed with learning the latest and most fashionable that you forget the job you’re trying to do with those tools – to build your audience into an online community,” said Niles. Using the different digital journalistic techniques helps sustain the writer’s “brand.” I feel that for a writer to sustain his or her brand, they must adapt to the new styles of digital writing by developing their audience into an online community.