Monday, June 25, 2007

Learning About Online Journalism

My first foray into first-person journalism is officially published at Associated Content. I don’t expect squat for page views, but am experiencing an inordinate amount of glee from seeing it.

With the idea in mind of continuing this exploration, I discovered the Online Journalism Review and a “wiki” entitled How to Report a News Story Online. The article includes a little section on finding story ideas, but is concluded by a somewhat garbled, first-draft section at the end.

The upshot seems to be one with which I agree: pay attention to the world around you and write about what you find interesting. The odds are good that others will, too.

The piece also makes an excellent point about not looking only for information that supports your point of view on a topic. If you’re going to be a journalist, you have to be even-handed. Writing about why you’re right is an opinion piece, not an article.

Writing about the points on both sides makes you look fair and open-minded (whether you are or not!) That’s a good way to start establishing trust with your readers. It’s can be difficult to do on a subject about which you feel deeply but it’s a good way to learn whether you’ve been mistaken about a particular topic. Doing impartial research educates you so that you can educate your readers.