Reading Response #1

Here’s how the Reading Responses will go: most weeks, you will have a reading assignment from our textbook, Journalism Next by Mark Briggs (this week, you are assigned the Introduction and Chapter 1). Usually, I will post links to additional readings on this blog. Here are some readings now!

I will often pose a question on this blog related to the readings. If there’s something else in the readings that jumped out at you, you’re welcome to address that too.

Your response MUST address the Briggs chapter and should add elements from the other readings. You don’t need to cite everything, but you need to connect your writing to Briggs for full credit. Keep these responses short and to-the-point, but cover your bases. Don’t just summarize the readings; build on them! And make sure you post as your WordPress identity so I know who you are.

This week’s question!

Briggs offers some suggestions for focusing your blog, such as keeping in mind that “it’s not about you.” How can you write in a way that gets beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation?

Respond in the comments section of this blog post by 9 a.m. Sunday, February 1.


15 thoughts on “Reading Response #1

  1. Being able to reach out to your audience and interact is important, it makes the readers feel like they are a part of something rather than one of many. Not only will your audience grow when you interact with them, but you’ll become more confident in your writing and sharing of yourself. Maybe you’ll even get a positive comment and it’ll brighten your day, making you smile. It’s also therapeutic… even 15 minutes of writing can get a lot of useless junk rumbling around one’s head after a long day
    Nobody and everybody saw “blogging” coming. Not many newspapers knew what to do, the slower ones following the quicker that had already set up online viewing option. When literacy wasn’t a thing and the Bible was #1 on New York Times Bestseller for centuries, the way we communicate now would baffle even the most introspective philosopher. Newspapers, even though they fought resiliently, are now a thing of the past. Bloggers are here, reporting news how they see it, not how the headlines read out.
    If one isn’t looking at a economic standpoint, this is very exciting. Yes, I personally will miss the way newspapers just are, with their runny ink and thin constancy that is so good at cleaning up small spills. But I’m more interested in what is really happening out in the world, and bloggers bring that information to light.


  2. Briggs offers some suggestions for focusing your blog, such as keeping in mind that “it’s not about you.” How can you write in a way that gets beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation?

    To be able to write in order to interest other people, it is important to look at things that other people are reading. Briggs suggests and RSS feed set up to search for popular internet pages that have to do with a topic one’s interested in. This keeps one updated on what’s currently being talked about, because no one likes old news.
    I think that it is important that we take our own individual viewpoints and judgements and put them to the side for a second. If one is looking to hit a large audience, he don’t want to write about something small. There may be a lot of people in the world, but very few are just like you. I think it’s important to open oneself up for a little change in his blog, as to welcome in a new audience. Who knows what might grow from that? Briggs makes it clear that audience is everything, and that without them the blogger would be talking to himself.


  3. After reading the introduction by Briggs, I fully understand why blogging shouldn’t be “all about you”. When blogging, you should write in a way that keeps the conversation going. Once you do this, it allows people to interact with you and share their point of view on things. As a result, you end up meeting new people on a personal level and possibly developing a new point of view. As a blogger, you’re job isn’t only to focus on yourself or constantly informing the audience with your thoughts, but rather creating a blog that makes the readers want to comment back. I also enjoyed reading the part where Briggs talks about collaborating with others with different ideas. As I stated previously, when you meet or collaborate with people who have a different opinion than you, sometimes that all allows you to develop a different point of view towards things. This opened my eyes, because I never thought of it like that. I always figured if I conversed with others who had a different opinion than I did, than we’d end up arguing back and forth. Another helpful reading I enjoyed, was the reading by Joshua Becker called “15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog”. He discussed that when you blog, it strengthens your writing, as well as your mind. When you focus more on your work rather than focusing more on yourself, you’ll have a successful blog for sure.


  4. In “Journalism Next” Mark Briggs suggests that you keep in mind that “It’s not about you” when you write, which I think is a very good advise. I feel as there are too many bloggers out there too focused about themselves, how they look and how others perceive them. I do not think that sends out the right signals to neither aspiring writers nor the general youth of today. If bloggers would keep that phrase in mind when writing I really think their writing would improve in the long run. In Norway there has been some coverage of bloggers doing well and getting more media attention, and even becoming “celebrities”. When I say they become celebrities I mean when they get public recognition from things outside of their regular blog and regular readers. For example going on TV shows such as “Dancing with the star” etc. Most of the top bloggers in Norway have been so called “rosa bloggere”, directly translated to “pink bloggers”, meaning that the blog mostly consists of material from their everyday life. It is often women posting about their day and their thoughts followed by pictures of themselves, of their food, their workout etc. I really don’t think that is good writing or sending good signals out to our youth, and especially young girls who look up to these women. So I have never really liked the concept of blogs until recent years, when I opened my eyes a bit more. I compare it to what Briggs calls using a “wide-angle lens when viewing the world”. Instead of looking at what I found negative about blogging, I found possibilities and new ways to find and do stuff I find interesting on a new platform. I have never really considered to create my own blog, but after reading “15 reasons I think you should blog” by Joshua Becker I think it’s the first time I actually considered it. Well I have written blogs before and I’m still writing a blog, but it’s all for school so I don’t really feel as it’s my blog. Sure the blog I have written and the blog I’m currently writing is my writing, I have some creative freedom, but I don’t consider it my very own blog because there are still rules, limitations, etc. After reading both Briggs and Becker I better understand why and how I should blog if I ever decide to start my own blog.


  5. As journalism and media evolve in the digital age, they become more personal; blogs are a prime example of this. The capability of mass communication is now possible to anyone with a computer or smart phone, providing endless locations for news consumers to gain information. Correspondingly, there has been a massive shift in which news sources individuals trust. As discussed by Hank Green in his Medium blog on interviewing the president, younger generations especially rely heavily upon the bloggers and vloggers of the news world to consume information. They do not relate to big business media (He notes that the average viewers of CNN and Fox are in their 60s).

    In Briggs’ ‘Introduction,’ he discusses the excitement for today’s journalists in helping to redefine the media. There is great opportunity for modern day communicators to make news what they want it to be, but with this opportunity comes responsibility. In Chapter 2, Briggs places the audience first on his list of things to consider when starting a blog. After reading all of Becker’s list of personal rewards when writing a blog, this piece of advice seems to address a sort of self-centeredness that has resulted from personal blogging. It’s important to note that a blog is not merely a diary, and that as individuals depend more on blogs for information, this distinction must be apparent in your writing. Certainly, much can be gained from one’s personal insight, but relating it back to a wider audience in a way that maintains both their attention and trust is crucial in developing the focus of your blog.


  6. In this digital age, journalism is what you make it. Ever since the boom of the Internet as a way for consumers to read news, the entire journalism field has been going through a transformational period. This is great news for our generation, those that have a taste of the reporting done on traditional media platforms but who have also grown up as the digital world is evolving. It’s an exciting time for us, as Briggs explained, we have a say in “how citizens are informed and engaged in the decades to come.”

    With this power comes pressure. This digital age has made it so easy for us to put content on the Internet that as long as we have something to say, we can find a way to share our thoughts. As Briggs puts it, “anyone can be a publisher with a few clicks.” Since all of us in this class are now beginning to write blogs, it’s important to keep in mind that though it’s easy to write about or share anything, we have to have a focus on sharing “news.”

    What Clay Shirky said about the demise of newspapers in Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable is that “Society doesn’t need newspapers. We need journalism.” I believe that what he meant by this was that regardless of the medium by which journalists report news and readers consume it, it still needs to be journalism. We still need to provide factual, well researched information even though we may be posting on fresh and fun topics on new sites. We need to keep the mentality of social networking (i.e. posting what we had for breakfast, ranting about our personal beliefs and/or likes and dislikes, and sharing cat videos that we think are cute) out of the way of our blogs. The focus shouldn’t be on ourselves, but instead on something that we’re interested in and that we can provide more insight on than our mere opinions. Briggs describes the modern journalist as a “thoughtful, skilled, professional with an entrepreneurial spirit.” This is the modern journalist that we should all strive to be.


  7. I gathered from Briggs’ introduction that it is crucial to “put the audience first.” Technology, as revolutionary as it may be, is still a tool for the craft of journalism. Which is a bit funny, since it seemed to me that Briggs spent more time dealing with the technology and the supposed wonders of the future, than with the fact that journalism is meant to serve the public.
    Regarding “it’s not about you,” I think that by getting “beyond” ourselves we can commit our attention and work on the matter at hand. We can write in a way that stops looking at the self (as if the blog was meant to be a mirror), and instead we can really focus on what we are dealing with, so we can contribute something meaningful.


  8. After reading the Briggs chapter I think the best strategy to write in a way that goes beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation is to socialize with other people. In one section he gave examples of what worked for him like collaborating with others who have different interests than you in order to get a different perspective on things and figuring out new ways to solving problems. In Joshua Becker’s 15 reasons you should become a journalist socializing is also brought up here as well. Meeting new people through your blog will allow you to make new long lasting friendships and not only that what you write in your blogs may actually inspire people and change their life.


  9. I found the above readings to be quite interesting. First off with Clay Shirky’s piece, I think what he discusses is very true. The world of journalism has evolved and changed a lot over time from its conception to its mature days nowadays, but it has always seemed to find a way to properly adjust and help people move forward. Nowadays we have this threat of newspapers becoming extinct which will further change the way we do journalism, but I think Shirky makes an interesting point in noting that surely we will find our way.
    I really liked the “15 Reasons to blog” article as well. I never really thought much about the benefits of blogging. I have tried it before and I have written some things but I have never been able to get to the point where its a weekly or even daily occurrence. Point #11 “You’ll become more comfortable being known” in particular really resonated with me. Being someone who has always been shy when I started blogging it gave me a platform for which to be heard and for which to be known and that can be very empowering. It certainly helped me build some courage to continue doing it.

    The point about receiving positive comments is great as well. I know when i get good comments from people who genuinely enjoy what I am writing I get very happy because it gives me some more confidence and it makes me feel like I am contributing something to their lives. Overall I thought it was a very good article.

    BTW since I made my blog on my current account not sure how to switch, but here is my URL


  10. Briggs mentions that journalism is “not about you.” When we think of journalism in the more traditional forms such as print, whether we refer to newspapers or magazines, not many articles are focused on the writer. The first and foremost duty of a journalist is to tell the truth to the audience.
    Opinions are not necessarily the truth, which is why it is important to be completely objective when writing a story. If journalists wrote about what they believed instead of following the facts, people would not be able to make informed decisions. I think it’s important to keep readers interested by adding intriguing facts and giving all possible sides to the story to keep the conversation flowing for the readers.


  11. There are many helpful suggestions Briggs has given us in order for us to have successful blogging. In chapter two, Briggs begins with explaining how a good blog continues a conversation. I’ll admit I’ve been very shy about blogging but Briggs has put blogging into perspective. It’s okay to start off the talking about your subject and interest but to stay on track and attract more readers, there must be more in-depth discussion. From my understanding, any kind of input from a reader is helpful too. Our jobs as bloggers is to inform our audience, and go into more detail as questions present themselves. Briggs has also made clear how there is no journalism without blogging. Blogging gives the availability to use numerous sources across the internet to analyze and bring the importance of a subject to the readers attention. With the ability to communicate through comments with readers makes an important connection and allows the blogger to grow as a journalist. As chapter two went on, Briggs gave step by step guidelines for making a blog attractive which was not news to me and is another important key in going beyond yourself to add to conversation. Supplementing links as well as any kind of media such as pictures, or videos, help the growth of the conversation of the blog. Nobody wants to read a plain jane blog with no visual and just words-nobody would view your blog to begin with. It’s very important to work on your image to show the passion and effort your putting into reporting on what ever subject you wish to elaborate and inform on. Being able to learn from others’ blogs and share communication with other bloggers who share the same interests is another way to go beyond yourself and extend the conversation. You have the ability to learn even more information and make new connections as well. In Clay Shirky’s article, he adds some important input to realizing you need to go beyond yourself as well. Throughout his article he had spoke about how no one ever knows what will happen next, and because of that we all have the availability to create the new next. In other words, with people questioning whether newspapers are doomed from here on out, people need to stop worrying and think about how to create their own ideas and be accustomed to new technology so they don’t miss the transitions. Shirky states, “The unthinkable scenario unfolded something like this: The ability to share content wouldn’t shrink, it would grow…” Shirky goes on further to make his point how we don’t know what we’re in for next, so the only way to further ourselves and further our conversations and journalism is to get accustomed to what’s the now and stay up to date. Journalism is about being ourselves and reporting what’s important to us and be able to expand upon that as we learn and grow as people, and allow ourselves to take advantage of the many ways we can share our information. In Joshua Becker’s article, 15 reasons I Think You Should Blog, the discussion and persuasion of being your own blogger expands. I found his article to be cute in the format it had been set up. The bullets being numbered and all. Anyways, Becker makes points how you can start your own conversation and learn from yourself along the way and grow as a better writer most importantly, and I think that has everything to do with going beyond yourself. Being able to grow as a writer, thinker, communicator, inspiration, and success as well. From all that I have read, I believe that blogging can only do you good in being able to step out of your comfort zone but in the sense that you’ll be open minded to growing overall as a person. Like I have once said, I am new to blogging, but there is only so much good that can come out of blogging and making a discussion a good discussion and being able to dig deeper as a journalist.


  12. The Introduction of Marc Briggs’ Journalism Next is entitled: “Journalism is about people. Not Technology”. I found this an interesting jumping off point to introduce digital reporting. In my opinion digital reporting is about adding to the conversation that is already going on, like the question poses. Journalism has always been about the people and has just used different forms to present itself – today it uses technology as it once did newspapers. In the article about Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable it says: “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.” This is one way we might add to the conversation.
    Another way is to approach Journalism is in a new way and fresh way. Briggs’ also says: “Journalism needs you. It needs someone who can bring fresh approach without baggage that burdened earlier generations.” I think to add to the conversation is to add meaningful content that is well executed (research/written) and has a voice. Part of the problem with the Internet is that it involves less actual research than ever before. This makes it easier for anyone to be a “journalist”. Possibly people should get more involved with the original practices that made Journalism what it is today.


  13. In the text, Briggs suggested that journalists and bloggers keep in mind that “it’s not about you” when writing an article or blog post. In today’s society, many articles and posts that are published are obviously opinionated, which is not good for readers to read because nowadays, readers form their opinions by reading other opinions. Due to this fact, now research needs to be done by readers to make sure that the information being given to them is accurate.
    I feel that the best way that people can write in a way that gets beyond themselves and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation is adding more facts and research into their posts. For example, including graphs from a credible source and include what specialists in a specific subject say about a topic is very sufficient for readers. Many of the articles I read from news sites do not include other sources but mostly discuss their input on the situation discreetly. I feel that if journalists and bloggers have that mindset of not writing about what they feel and include data and credible sources into their posts to carry on a conversation, it will be a great thing for readers because then they will not form their opinion based on the opinions of a journalist/blogger but form their opinions based on data and information provided by specialists.


  14. Like Joshua Becker said in “15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog” is that blogging can really help redefine not only your writing but yourself as well. It helps you develop an eye for meaningful things, such as important thoughts and events. If you focus on expressing that in your work, you will spend less time expressing fluff about yourself and more time filtering those meaningful new occurrences that will help flourish your blog.


  15. After reading Briggs introduction as well as chapter one and the suggested readings above, I realized how easy it is for people to lose focus when they are blogging. It’s extremely easy to focus and write about yourself, but not so easy to make sure you can maintain the readers attention and add to the conversation of the topic. As Briggs said ” Journalism is about people, not technology.” To me, this holds so much truth. You can learn all the technology in the world, which can be useful, but if you can’t grab the attention of your readers, then what’s the point of having an educated blog site? What really stuck out to me was when Briggs talked about the future being in our hands. Bringing fresh approaches and new ideas to a blog site is exactly how I think I can further my topic. While I plan to write about NASA and it’s discoveries, I need to keep in mind that my opinion isn’t the most important, and that summarizing and re writing information from other sites can be boring and dull. In order to write in a way that gets beyond myself, I must write in a way that can interest people. Maybe that means adding useful links, keeping my blog short and to the point, and more importantly, touching on conversations the public eye wants to read about, not just what I want to read about. If i can incorporate these things as well as maintain a fresh and new blogging strategy, than i think my blog site can become very successful. In addition, after reading the 15 reasons I think you should blog, I became extremely excited to blog every week. Meeting new people, living a healthier life style, thinking outside the box, and becoming more confident in my writing are all things I look forward to experiencing.


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