When I sat down to read, “Newspaper columnists ought to be the perfect bloggers. So why aren’t more doing it well,” I didn’t know what to expect from it. Although the article was helpful, I feel like most of the information was so straight forward and obvious. While reading through the comments, I was shocked to find people defending the fact that modern day journalists/columnists shouldn’t have to succumb to the likes of online blogs or Twitter. This is a new era of journalism.
Writing, publishing and getting your message across is easier and more convenient than it has ever been before. People can post their opinions, how they feel about a topic, factual news articles and so much more in either 120 characters or less or on a public blog site. I would usually tend to defend the journalist by saying: Why should the journalist have to succumb to the pressures of writing blogs when they are printed daily? The answer is simple: In order to be a great or better journalist, you have to adapt to the times and be what the people need/want. And sometimes, they need news right now, from a glowing screen in front of their faces to a device resting in the palm of their hands.
When Robert Niles wrote about the convention he attended, “Survive or Thrive,” I found it interesting that this is what journalism has come to. Again defending the journalist, the pressures to be a journalist have changed drastically in the past 10 years alone. Now they expect journalists to have a column in a newspaper or magazine AND a constant Twitter feed and an active blog. For many journalists this is a huge change. They have spent their life writing to people, but never getting instant feedback – now they can get feedback in .5 seconds with every tweet and blog post. It takes time to adapt, so maybe this is why they aren’t doing a better job at blogging?
But when you take a step back, the journalist should realize that in order to “Survive and Thrive,” they have to suck it up and adapt to the digital age of blogging and Twitter. Yes, the criticisms and constant feedback are sometimes alarming, but at least people are reading your stuff and finding various ways to argue your points. Funny, a quote from one of my favorite movies, Throw Momma From the Train, would sum up this predicament nicely: “A writer writes, always.” Meaning that no matter what, if you are a journalist you will write whenever, no matter the forum.
In other news, I watched the video Blogs in Plain English and thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked how it describes how blogs are ideas generated from various people about what you have to say and whats going on in your mind. With a “but really, isn’t everything news to someone,” I was sold on the fact that blogs can be used for good.
Honestly, I used to think that blogs were places where people could vent or basically put rumored events and facts on the Internet. But over the years, I realized that I get more information from blogs than I do actual news sites. TSM, Total Sorority Move, is hands down one of the best blogs I have ever read. The information is hilarious and written in ways that a college student or Greek member would understand. The titles are strong, catchy and pull readers in. They attach hilarious photos/videos and are always up-to-date with university and Greek issues happening around the country. I’m obsessed. It’s nice to know that blogs can now be factual and used as an actual news source.
Journalists and writers just have to face the fact that our world has changed, and the digital age is upon us. In order to be a better journalist, we have to survive and thrive off of the new ways to report information to our readers, and constantly improve on it. Blogging and Twitter is the wave of the future, don’t get lost in translation, move forward and thrive within the blogosphere!