Why should a journalism student blog?

At Sunderland University on Tuesday, I was speaking to a group of second year sports journalism students, and one of the things I covered was the sort of skills students should arm themselves with.

I suggested one of the most valuable weapons to arm yourself with at a job interview was proof that you blogged – both the blog and the fact you blog instantly tells an interviewer a lot about you and your understanding of working in an online environment.

One of the students, at the end, asked me: “But who would read the blog of a journalism student?”

Good question – and my answer was along the lines of  “If you find the community online which is interested in your blog’s subject matter, and become part of that community, of course people will want to read what you say.”

Right answer? I’m not sure it was particularly useful – so I thought I’d throw this out on the blog – what else should I have said?

4 comments

  1. I’d suggest blogging about whatever they are interested in and think they can say something interesting about – politics, education, Dr Who, the town they grew up in, whatever. In other words, to avoid thinking they need to blog about journalism or being a journalism student. That’s one option, but the point is to show they can practice journalism online, not necessarily to write about journalism itself.

  2. I think that is a great answer, David.
    By participating in the community that they are writing about, they will a.) learn more about that community and what its members want to read and b.) be more likely to be given information about that community. These two things add up to a successful online newspaper. I mean, blog.🙂

  3. Good advice above.

    I’m a student journalist, and I found this blog through a WordPress search for “student journalism.” I’m part of a small audience, I know. But it’s still an audience.

    Also, I hear the term “entrepreneurial journalism” bandied about so much these days. Blogs can be a great way to experiment, to figure out how to develop a “marketable” voice as a journalist. (I’m also hoping it will nudge me to write more, even when I don’t have a story due.)

  4. I will be studying journalism and media in September and I think blogging is both enjoyable and beneficial all at the same time. It doesn’t matter what your blogging about its nice when people reply and take a keen interest in what you’re writing. Also I agree with that it helps you get to grasps to what an audience want to hear and how they want you to tell certain stories. Also I know I need to get up to scratch with my grammar and spelling, this is perfect way to do it. Just keep writing and writing and writing and writing then breathing.

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