Give and Take: Big Blogging

Working on these few posts for the All Tech Considered Blog, it occurred to me that I don’t really know how to write a good news article. Or rather, I don’t really know how to write a good straight news article. Blogging for NPR means knowing where the line is. If you’re going to write an opinion article, that’s fine but write it as straight opinion. If you’re going to write a news article, then write it as a straight news article.

Not to devalue previous work, but my carefully polished news-opinion blend that I practiced over on MiddBlog does not work for the big leagues. Well, at least it is used much less often and mostly by blogging all-stars.

And it’s essentially this type of advice for which I’m so grateful for. I did not and do not go to school to learn about Twitter or blogs or social media in general. So to have people who are more experienced than I am is a big part of the internship with NPR this summer.

And still I feel like I have something to offer other than my eagerness to drop-in on conversations whether my supervisors like it or not. Talking with other NPR bloggers at today’s “NPR blogger in-house meetup” (the first ever!), I got a chance to probe some of the other bloggers specializing in health, pop culture, etc. It became clear that I could maybe help some people understand the value of engagement and participation both on and off NPR.org.

Especially at a time when media outlets are reviewing their social media policy, I like grappling and arguing the finer points of social media and journalism. Today’s explosion of articles analyzing Twitter as a legitimate news source (even for the State Dept) in reporting on Iran, shows that it’s not easy to discount new media tools. The truth is that no one is a Twitter expert or Facebook guru. But I hope to be someone who can advise and innovate far into the future.

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