October 8, 2009

To be or not to be a journalist .... first, though, find your blog?

A college instructor on the east side of the United States is requiring students in his Writing for the Web class to post in several blogs frequently.

What caught my eye was two posts from the students: Sending out a search party for our masslive.com blog and Confusion.

One of the journalists-to be asks:
"Seriously, if I’m stuck rummaging through my backpack to find that random sheet of paper from class with the web address for our blog, instead of finding it easily on the site’s own search feature, what makes Masslive think anyone else will accidentally pluck the blog out of obscurity? "
Perhaps the instructor, who also is executive editor for AdvanceInternet, parent company of MassLive.com, needs to add to the class syllabus.so the students learn how to use bookmarks or the site's new recommendation feature to easily find their blogs.

Or perhaps more work on the the search function is needed. I've noticed some improvements in search on the AdvanceInternet sites like mlive.com, oregonlive.com and nola.com - you can limit the dates searched, for instance, - but more are needed as often better results come from off-site searches.

(Side note: I like how one profile works across the multiple AdvanceInternet sites. I also like that following someone pulls in their posts, recommendations, comments, photos and videos. So far, though, it looks like posts are limited to staff. Let's hope that opens up to so more can post. Also, I'm still waiting for a way to merge personalities.)

By the way, the instructor, Scott Brodeur, has pulled together some thought-provoking posts, including one under the headline "To Be or Not to Be a Journalist: " and The Story Behind the Story Behind the Story.

In that first post, Scott is talking about the popularity of journalism as a major despite the cutbacks in the field. He includes a quote from Dean Mills, the head of the Missouri School of Journalism:
The days when you climbed onto the best newspaper you could and looked forward to doing the same thing for 40 or 50 years are over. People who want security or lack ambition probably should not be in journalism schools these days.
Scott finishes the post with:
That sounds like a challenge. You up for it?
Their first challenge, though, is finding their blogs.

I've written about teaching journalists before, like in these posts:
What would you tell a college student today?
Rookie professor: Jumping from newsroom to classroom


  1. Bulletin ... Looks like still more journalists from the Detroit DAILIES will be blogging for a living. Visit: http://joelontheroad.com/ and check out the lead story. More layoffs are a-coming. Egads!

  2. Thanks. I linked to your nudge and added some information in Catching up: Blame the numbers in Alabama, Detroit.

    I'm so glad Joel's posting again after his long break.