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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Blogging Journalist

(Courtesy of: Scripting News)


Journalism has been a part of my resume since 2001. This is when I got accepted to the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina and where I was introduced to blogging. My copyedit professor warned me that media convergence was on the way and that I had to make sure I didn't pigeonhole myself as a "broadcast" journalist.

It was the best career advice I ever received and I started to blog before I graduated in 2004. My first blog post was about me turning down an on-air gig at a news station in Albany, Ga. I rejected the offer because I found out that I was being hired as the "token" Black reporter. My reason didn't go over well with critics and I wasn't ready for the instant feedback from people hiding behind fictitious usernames in the comment box. I ended up deleting my post and refused to blog ever again.

In 2007, I ventured into financial journalism and I cut my teeth at an online media outlet where I covered mergers and acquisitions. To breakaway from deals taking place in the capital markets, I thought it would be fun to start blogging again during my free time. 

The blogging life was cut short after I learned my M&A colleagues were poking fun at one of my blog post "Help Me Find My Umph" — a story about a breakup on New Years Eve Day. I terminated the blog the minute I heard them discussing the post during a social work gathering about how my boyfriend broke up with me and the reason he gave was that I didn't have enough umph. 


After that incident, I never thought I could be a blogger and a journalist at the same time. Then I remembered what my copyediting professor told me back in J-school, "You can't just be a broadcast journalist. You have to know how to write for the World Wide Web, print and broadcast platforms," he said.

So on Oct. 24, 2013, I decided to give blogging one more shot. I started to utilize my journalism skills and created the multimedia blog, ArtzOfCulturez.com. As you can see, it's still up and running and every year it gets better. I upped my game by producing videos and a podcast supplement. And yes, I produce the videos and podcasts all by myself. Thanks to my days as a broadcast journalist, I know how to shoot and edit videos, write scripts for my voiceovers, and conduct interviews. As for the podcasting part, I researched, listened to other podcasts and I taught myself how to produce a show. 

The harsh critics no longer bother me. However, I introduce myself as "a journalist first and a blogger second" or "I'm a journalist who blogs." It's a way to let non-journalists bloggers know that:

  • I received proper training in J-school 
  • I've worked in several newsrooms, including broadcast, print and digital
  • I've acquired valuable reporting, editing, and writing skills
  • I follow the code of journalism ethics
  • I paid my dues
  • And, yes, there is a difference between bloggers and journalists


So what's the difference between a blogger and journalist? Haley Osborne, of EssayTigers.com, came up with the perfect infographic.

InfoGraphic courtesy of: http://www.essaytigers.com 
Blogger vs Journalist Infographic

It's fair to say, that over the last three years I've figured out how to incorporate an equal balance of journalism, multimedia skills with blogging in my posts. Each post has a little dose of emotion and facts, when applicable. The only thing I haven't figured out is how to make a living off of being a blogging journalist. 

If you're a journalist who blogs, I'd love to get insight on how you balance the two roles. Send your views to TCsViews@gmail.com or leave your comment in the box below.

Side note: Some bloggers make way more than what the infographic estimates. Don't believe me? Just a Girl and Her Blog tells you just how much she makes in her income report.


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