Influence, audience and income through blogging

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:

Income streams

Sponsored posts

Brand ambassadorship


Selling products or e-courses

Collaborations off the blog

Affiliate sales

Networking advertising

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.


Ethical practice in traditional and online journalism

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.












The perks of being a live blogger

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.

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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.





Trump himself is in fact the big baby

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.

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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


Social media’s impact on news

By Maudy Veltema

Photo multi media

As a result of the digital revolution in relation to the media, online news is now the successor of print press journalism and broadcast journalism. Social media is the latest tool used in online news. These days there are hardly any radio stations, TV channels or newspaper without a social media page to distribute news to the audience. News and the way news is distributed are strongly affected by social media. What follows is an overview of the effects of these developments out and what they mean for both journalists and public.

Timeline of journalism formats

From the most traditional form of journalism originating from the newspaper to its newest format of online news, there have been processes of adaptation each time a new format was introduced. Lee Duffield is an Australian journalist with worldwide experience and a journalism lecturer at the Queensland University of technology, who has witnessed the revolution of television, online news and social media. He talks about how all these processes evolved and what kind of challenges they brought.

Positive and negative effects of social media’s involvement in news

In the present media environment, broadcast channels and print press newspapers and magazines are most likely to have their own online news websites, which are often connected to social media pages. On these social media pages, the channel or newspaper can post links to their own website, where the online articles can be found. A major departure from all traditional forms of journalism is that in online news there is the ability to update and adjust any published work. In the world of social media, there is a certain pressure to be the first one to publish something newsworthy. Because of the fast pace in which these social media post their news, journalists are more and more likely to not check their work before they publish it. However the effects of this are mitigated by possibility to update and adjust published work.

In 2014 ING bank conducted a survey about how social media changed the work of both journalists and PR professionals. Amongst other things, the survey gave insights into how trustworthy these professionals find social media, to what extend the public’s opinion is used in publishing news and whether journalists publish as soon as possible with the possibility to correct and amend their articles later if necessary.

In the following chart it is made clear that almost half of the journalists in question do this for most of their publications, only near a quarter do this for half of their publications. Just over a fifth does it for the minority of their publications, whilst exactly fifth of the journalist say they never do this(1).

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The same survey stated that 60% of the journalists in question said that they feel less bound to stick to the rules of journalism in online news than they would in traditional forms of journalism. The difficulty matching the traditional rules of journalism with the new media approach is that on social media, personal opinions are being frequently shared, while conventional journalists have to be objective and simply be the reporter of news facts and news events.

The ING bank’s survey’ s prediction for the future is that the fact checking will reduce, while the crowd checking will increase. This means that the importance of the public’s opinion will intensify.

Social networking for journalists

It has always been essential for a journalist to network, but with the digital revolution coming through in journalism, it has become essential to adapt to the new Internet environment and keep and expand an online network.

In the understanding of journalist Charlie Beckett, networked journalists don’t just adjust to reporting in response to feedback from colleagues and consumers; they also follow up stories and understand the coverage of an event or issue within a wider context (2).

In relation to the revolution of online news, a networked journalist has to become comfortable with the idea of social networking and they will have to become a social networker themselves. Since many newspapers and TV channels have social media linked to their websites, the majority of journalists are on social network websites like Twitter and Facebook these days. In a 2013 global digital journalism study, Oriella PR Network surveyed journalists from 14 countries about the role of digital media in newsrooms and newsgathering. In this survey it was found that more than half the journalists use Twitter and a third of the questioned journalists even have their own blog. One of the other findings was that over half of the questioned journalists use social media to gather news stories, if the sources are considered trustable (3).

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On social media a lot of journalistic elements meet. A journalist can not only gather news stories, but also becomes a publisher and maintains and expands a big network. A journalist on social media also becomes better reachable for the public. This resolves the old media problem of unresponsive and unreachable journalists. In his blog on, American journalist and professor Jeff Jarvis wrote that he believes that the more that journalists behave like citizens, the stronger their journalism will be. ‘’In networked journalism, the public can get involved in a story before it is reported, contributing facts, questions and suggestions. The journalist can rely on the public to help report the story, we’ll see more and more of that, I trust,’’ he wrote (4).

Social media’s role in breaking news

When news is breaking, there is a rivalry amongst journalists of different news institutions to get the scoop and be the first one to bring the story to the public. Because nowadays everyone possesses smartphones connected to social media, journalists face competition from so called ’citizen journalists’. Eyewitnesses, the public and official sources can now share the news before the mainstream news institutions have put the official story out.

In 2012 American educational website did research on how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source. They found that over half of the American people have learned about breaking news via social media rather than official news sources (5).

Fast though, doesn’t always mean factual. Even when social media is used as a news source, it is important to double-check facts with a trusted news source, both as a news institution and a newsreader.

The same piece of research by showed that almost half of the people who heard breaking news through social media, later discovered that this news turned out to be false.

Apart from the fast versus factual issue, citizen journalists who gather and attempt to distribute news in breaking news situations, don’t have the ability to broadcast them to the general public like news institutions do. Even though their social media posts can reach anyone on the internet, in reality only few can find them in all the ongoing fuzz on social media during one of these breaking news situations .Let alone whether people would trust the citizen journalist. The whole process of checking facts and putting a story together would take more than clicking on the retweet button (6).

Future perspectives of social media’s role in journalism

The digitalisation of news and news on social media is most likely to intensify in the near future. Social media trends that have developed as a result of this will continue to develop and renew themselves.

 On digital innovation website , journalist Vadim Lavrusik wrote about the future of social media in journalism. In relation to this he made a list of ongoing trends in journalism which are expected to only increase in the future. The most important ones are listed below (7).

More collaborative reporting, with an increase in the alignment between the source and the content producer, resulting in more journalism happening through collaborative reporting

Journalists being community managers, The ending of the ‘top of the mountain journalists’ resulting in news becoming more of an online conversation where the journalist has to listen as much to the community as they do to him.

The increasing social beat, where a journalist’s beat of coverage and contacts will and in many cases already does include the social web. Here, readers are pointed to the news and the community shares its own news.

The social network as the new editor, where the social networks of the reader are helping him decide what he needs to read instead of only journalists doing that job.

News organisations looking beyond Twitter and Facebook, looking to take advantage of other platforms and other online communities.

More newsrooms having a full time social media department, figuring out the best way to work with the online community.



Closing words from an aspiring news reporter

Used sources


Find the actual report in Dutch here:
(Accessed May 18 2015)

2. Beckett, Charlie. 2008. ‘’Supermedia: saving journalism so it can save the world.’’ Chapter 2: ‘’Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s superMedia!’’: Networked Journalism. Blackwell Publishing. Chichester.

(Accessed May 20 2015)

(Accessed May 20 2015)

(Accessed May 20 2015)

(Accessed May 20 2015)

(Accessed May 25 2015)