Blogging may replace news stories, detail still important

25 Jan

Blogs are the future of journalism.

I don’t think there is any set definition for a blog. This article clearly shows that no two websites mentioned have the same meaning. The important thing about blogs is that they get information on pretty much any topic imaginable to hundreds of thousands of people in just a few brief paragraphs. With the creation of the Argo Project about one year ago, radio stations were able to spread information on a variety of topics to an average of 400,000 people. It’s pretty incredible to think that a news story filed in separate, incremental updates can be more effective and impactful than a single article. In fact, just yesterday the Argo Project created a Project Argo toolkit for creating niche websites using WordPress. The best part? It’s free. Tools like this are making it so much easier for journalists to spread news and spark discussion.

If a project like this could help inexperienced reporters use Twitter like pros and help them become expert bloggers in a time when social media wasn’t huge yet, imagine what Argo could have been like if it had started this year! Now, news is spread much more through tweets, Facebook statuses, Google+, etc. However, I do still think long entries like blogs are invaluable to the journalism industry, since they provide a good amount of detail and information. People do still want to get all of the facts in a story. I also agree with Matt Thompson, who said blogging partnerships are essential. Although this blog entry mainly concerns pet blogging partnerships, it is a good example of how stepping out of your niche and helping out other writers can be beneficial. In addition, since blogs could very well be replacing newspapers, any good blog needs strong editors just like newspapers do. Even if a reporter thinks his or her work is flawless, he or she usually needs a second eye to look things over. Good editing means good credibility.

Blogs definitely help in developing a large news story by breaking the story up into smaller pieces. If we had blogs back in 1994 when the O.J. Simpson case was going on, people probably wouldn’t even have to be watching the trials every night on TV. There is a dilemma when considering whether blog posts or a longer news story would be more effective in recounting events. I think blog posts are more helpful when there is a developing story; each part can be explained in great detail and space would not have to be saved.

Nowadays, there really is no set way to tell a story. Frequent updates and blog entries are what people depend on. Although some people may see this as a decline in journalistic storytelling, I see it as a way to merely improve storytelling. More people are getting more up-to-date information, and a lot of it is pretty accurate. It will be exciting to see if the Argo Project sparks other blogging projects as well.

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