In the week 5 lecture for Online Journalism us students were payed a pleasant visit by blogger Nikki Parkinson.
As a successful founder and owner of her blog Styling You she came to tell us about how she got into the blogging circuit and that although blogging might not automatically sound like something you can earn money with, she told us that many people actually do.
To make all our fears of being a money making part of the big world wide web go away, she gave us a few important insights into how to run a blog.
Aside from telling us to embrace change, find our voice, find your niche and be persistent, she showed us that having a blog actually brings you many advantages like an audience, authenticity and most importantly influence.
Nikki explained how organic growth means engaged growth and that this is what it’s all about in the blogging world because it helps you gain a community.
Also very handy to know-and one thing I was in particular very curious about- are the many different ways you can actually make money as a blogger.
These appeared to be:
Selling products or e-courses
Collaborations off the blog
By the end of the lecture I felt very informed and I can’t help but admit that it also gave me a slight hope.
If, like any other young woman with a deep love for anything food-related, I was ever to pursue my dream (you know, the dream for when my serious journalism job doesn’t work out) I will definitely take these tips into account.
Nikki is a great example of a successful and influential communication professional who builds influence and establishes herself in the online world through her blog.
As a student currently doing an online journalism subject, I couldn’t help but wonder about the ethics in online journalism and especially if they’re different from traditional journalism.
Last semester I completed a subject called Journalism Ethics. Here we learned all the ethical skills a journalist should possess to practice responsibly. Certain codes and ground rules gave guidance into difficult ethical dilemmas a journalist could face.
But the online environment definitely brings new problems when it comes to ethical practice.
However, after doing research, I did find there are things a journalist can maintain to establish themselves as an ethical digital reporter. These handy tips come from the School for Communication and Journalism of the University of Southern California.
- Being able to tell a good source from a bad source.
An online journalist will mostly do research on the internet, and it can be hard to establish which websites are reliable. It is therefore important that you investigate your digital sources.
- Finding a good image without breaking copyright rules.
Even though images are largely available on the web, it is important to not break any laws when using them. Using public domain images, paying attention to attribution, asking the owner’s permission and checking photo sharing websites can offer solutions to the problems surrounding copyright for images.
- Being a transparant online journalist
If it was important to be a transparent traditional journalist, it is even more important to be one in the online environment. Demonstrating openness and accountability are the key words to being an ethical journalist on the web. Examples of this are noting a correction you make to an article and maintaining open communication with your readers.
- Demonstrating credibility
Don’t take advantage of the option to hide behind your screen, and report bias and inaccurate information. Not including personal opinions, checking facts and supplying links to your sources will help you built credibility as an online journalist.
These tips for ethical online journalists are very handy and applicable. However, I do believe the basic ethical considerations for journalists should be the same, whether in traditional or online journalism.
Like the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics prescribes, journalists should always commit themselves to fairness, independence, honesty, and respect for the rights of others.
As a journalist in the making and hopefully someday a trained and professional example of the trade, I will always take these key points into consideration.
Many, according to Brisbane Times Queensland political reporter Amy Remeikis.
During the very informative and surprisingly fun guest lecture this week we learnt that reporting from Queensland Parliament’s weekly Question Time can be done in an informative yet FUN way.
Yes, fun and politics, Amy thinks it is a very fertile combination and the live blog is the living proof of this.
On the Question Time live blog Amy keeps Queenslanders updated on what’s happening inside the chamber whilst keeping the vibe relaxed and playful.
Amy involves the public into her live blog through the Dixer requests people can put in, which is cleverly Led from the term Dorothy Dixer.
Dorothy Dix was an American journalist who was the pioneer in the world of advice columns. She was renown to frame questions and publish prepared answers. In Australia the term Dorothy Dixer is now referred to when a minister gets asked a question from their own party that allows him to make an announcement hidden as a reply.
The music delivered through the Dixer Requests combined with the funny and informal tone throughout the live blog truly make up a fun ensemble of what most people would consider to be boring stuff.
When asked how to get people to care about politics -because we all know it can be very dry- and specifically how to become a successful blogger, Amy has a few key points.
- Write with a sense of humour- Because yes, you CAN do this with something not automatically loaded up with fun, like politics.
- Context is key -Especially in digital journalism. Tell the people why it is important and play with the concept of context.
- Don’t talk down on your audience – Back in the days journalists could come off as arrogant as they felt they were the ones who informed the public of what was going on in the world. Now we not only know who is reading, but audience participation has also grown immensely. And thank god, journos are not snobby pricks anymore. Well, most of them, anyway. Take a smart position in this public-journo relationship.
- Find out what the topics are that make non-journalists talk. Sure, the topics you and your journo friends discuss in your own little bubble are immensely interesting, but just consider how someone who isn’t on top of news 24/7 would receive it.
l I can conclude this was one of the more enjoyable lectures in my course so far. Real life tips from a real life journo… Man, I really do go to a university for the REAL world.
The scene has become an easy one to imagine. Just another republican rally in a Southern state in the US, the same renown billionaire turned presidential nominee, the usual type of Trump voting crowd and to top it off another ridiculous comment.
“Don’t worry about that baby, I love babies,” the Republican Party Presidential nominee responded to the cries of a baby at a campaign rally in Virginia this week.
Only moments later he turns his back on this seemingly loving comment and kindly but surely requests for the baby to be removed. A laugh, a single surprised “ooh” and “ah” and most importantly: a big smug from the man who’s name we’ve all heard more than our own in 2016.
Now, when we look at the news covering from American media, like for example news giant Fox News, the happening is mainly covered as another comment by the man who the world fears to become the next US president.
But for a news organisation outside the US, like the Australian ABC, the ridiculous comments made by this man are clearly reported in a lighter sense. The ABC closes their article about the affair with a humorous twist and showed people’s funny twitter comments. The ABC reminds us to not take this man too seriously and shows us what many people think, that Trump himself is actually the big baby.
This comparison in news coverage shows that distance makes it easier us to bring humour into situations. And with a man like Trump, a laugh is what most of the world needs