Tag Archives: blogging

Technorati informs us about blogging

Technorati has been releasing a report called the “State of the Blogosphere Report” every year since 2004. The report gives out information about what the latest trends and growth in the world of blogging.

This year the report focused on:

  • “Who are the bloggers?”
  • “The what and why of blogging”
  • “The how of blogging”
  • “Blogging revenues, brands and blogs”
  • “Twitter, global impact and the future of blogging”

You can visit the Technorati site or go the Online Journalism Blog, who pretty much broke down the report to basic information.

It was quite interesting to see you are the bloggers are and what their interest are. Most bloggers are into blogging for personal fulfillment rather than financial gain.


Click the link to find the source

I find that interesting; do you?


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Christian Schaffer from Channel 2


This is Christian's headshot from Channel 2.

Christian Schaffer is a reporter for WMAR-TV, which is the Baltimore affiliate for ABC. I meet Christian about 2 ½ years ago when I interned for Channel 2.

He always gave me good insight into the world of journalism, so I thought it would be nice to interview him and allow him to share is knowledge with all of you.

 Have you had to move around a lot to be able to find a job in journalism?

Yes. I’ve worked in Richmond, VA, Greensboro, NC, Boston, MA, Harrisburg, PA and now Baltimore.

How long have you been in the media business?

I got my first job as a part-time associate producer while I was still in college back in 1994, after interning there earlier that year. So I guess I’ve been in the business for 14 years now.

Where did you go to school?

 I went to the University of Richmond, and then while I was working in Boston I went to Boston University and got a Masters in Broadcast Journalism.

Where did you get your start in journalism and where do you currently work?

I started as an intern at WRIC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Richmond while I was a student at the U of R. Now I’m a reporter at WMAR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore.

How long have you worked at your current job?

I’ve been here since June of 2006; so about three-and-a-half years.

Do you believe blogs or online journalism have changed journalism standards? And why do you say yes or no?

I think the ‘bloggers’ have created their own standard. It depends on what kind of site it is; some sites are willing to pay people to be interviewed. In ‘traditional’ media this would be an obvious no-no and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

The blogs also have much less adherence to old-school standards like AP style, having two sources before going forward with a story, etc. It’s up to the traditional media to maintain the traditional standards. That means sometimes the blogs will be ‘first’ with some stories, but it also means the blogs will be ‘wrong’ with some stories.

Do you think there have been more positive changes in the media world or negative changes? Please Explain.

There have been a lot of positive changes. But I think two big negatives out-weigh those. Number one has been the decline of newspapers. Nobody buys a subscription to the newspaper anymore, because you can read them on-line for free. Now newspapers are cutting staff and closing down all over the country, and I think this has led to a big decline in original reporting. Instead they just do an easy story based on some press release. Wwhich leads me to the second big negative:

These days it’s much harder to gain access to newsmakers than it was in the past. Now, every company, government agency and sports team has a fully-staffed media relations department. Go back and read or watch “All the President’s Men” and you’ll see Woodward and Bernstein walking around, talking to everyone from district attorneys, to mid-level bureaucrats to secretaries – on the record – and using the information in their stores. Today those people either hang up the phone or refer you to media relations.

Have you been directly affected by the changes in the media world and if so how?

 The technology has changed in TV news (and so has the emphasis on cutting costs). So now the cameras are getting small enough that a lot of stations expect reporters to go out by themselves. They call it a ‘one-man band’ or ‘multi-media journalist’ and it’s coming to WMAR pretty soon. That will be a big change.

Has it been difficult to adapt all of the time to the changing world of journalism?

Sometimes it is difficult, but if you have a grasp of the basics it’s easier to roll with the changes.

Do you think the internet allows journalists to stay closer to their hometown or it really has had no effect?

I think it allows everyone to stay closer to their home town. If you’re living in California but you’re from Baltimore it’s now no big deal to read the Baltimore Sun. Young people don’t realize what a big deal this is, because they’ve grown up with it. But it’s a pretty revolutionary concept that didn’t really get going until after I graduated from college.

The internet has also made it easier to do research on stories, and find the back-ground of people you’re going to interview before you talk to them.

Do you think technology is making it easier for journalists or harder to do their job?

There are some negatives (like going out to shoot a story by myself instead of with a photojournalist) but overall, you have to remember that only about 30 years ago people were out shooting news stories on FILM. They had to go back to the station and get the film processed before they could use it. The audio was recorded separately and matched to the film. What a nightmare.. The changes to cameras and the move to digital editing has made TV news millions of times easier to do over the past few decades.

What advice do you give future journalists?

I once heard someone tell potential actors – if you can do anything else in the world, do it. And I would give similar advice to future journalists. If you don’t love this job, you won’t last. The money and benefits are not that great. You’ll spend time away from your friends and family. So if you’re not totally committed, you might as well find something else to do now.

What goals do you have for yourself and your career?

I never set goals because in this business you don’t get to decide where you go. I could say, “I want to work in L.A.” and send 100 resume reels to all the stations out there, and still never get hired. But then somebody in Dallas might see the tape and bring me in. It’s too hard to predict. All I can do, is do the best possible story every day and let the chips fall where they will.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

In the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson, “The TV business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.”

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Sam Sessa from the Midnight Sun (Part 2)

10229_1125114942445_1664292095_422330_6785416_n1As promised I am bringing back the advice from Sam Sessa. He had so much good information that I could not just confine it to one post.

Here are some things he suggests about getting ideas for posts.

“I get out a lot looking for things.”

“Start reading random sights. What I see makes me think of other stuff.”

“Gotta be out there every day.”

Suggestions for sources.

“Have to do your homework, call people, get every side of it.”

Sam says his blog helps him to find sources for his copy stories. The example he gave us was the story of K-Swifts sudden death. He got new information and sources form the people who he commented back and forth with through his blog posts.

“Have a conversation with people.”

The public was able to see the story evolve and unfold before their eyes through his blog. The K-Swift story was one or two stories in the Sun and on his blog it was several stories.

Suggestions for writing.

“Best posts, for me, are funny and personable and gets the point across.”

Sam gave us an example of reviewing a sports bar instead of saying something bad about the bar he could turn it around in another way by describing a sports bar he would open and what he would name it and the food he would serve, turn it into a story. This would never be able to happen in the newspaper.

“Some of my best blog posts have been written in five min.” But other times, “2, 5, 6 hours later and I have nothing and I have to walk away. On the whole it has gotten easier.”

But he never knows what people are going to like.

“50 words get lots of comments; 500 words gets no comments but a lot of hits.” Suggestions for hits. “Worry about what you put in the headline.”

He says for him the local hits are the best. “They help to sell ads.”

His suggestions for life.

“Life intersects with your blog life, but you have to draw the line.”

When he is out to eat for fun he has to remember to have fun and not try to turn the experience into a post. People want to know who you are but you have to keep some of yourself to yourself.

Overall Sam says, “blogs were a breath of fresh air. A break from what we [reporters] were doing.” Sam says blogs helped to awaken some reporters. He also says that some old school reporters did not take to the change and are now no longer working for the Sun.

Thanks for the tips and the insight into the blogging world.

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Sam Sessa from the Midnight Sun

10229_1125114942445_1664292095_422330_6785416_nSam Sessa, a reporter and blogger from the Baltimore Sun visited my Writing for New Media class on Thursday to give us some advice on blogging and the world of news in general.

Sam got his job at the Sun right after graduation from University of Maryland in 2005. He said he was lucky to have found a job that fast after graduation.

“I wish they had a class like this one when I was in school.”

When Sam first started at the Sun he was a print reporter only. The Sun then allowed him to start up his blog, the Midnight Sun.

“First and foremost I’m a reporter, that’s what pays the bills. A third of the day is towards the blog.”

Sam said, when he first started his blog he had to run everything by his editors first before it was posted and he felt like he was screaming into a vacuum every time he posted. I felt no one was listening, that’s how I feel too. I guess it just goes with the territory.

He said he had to connect to other bloggers to feel connected in the blogger world. Connection is key.

When you connect with one person and then they connect to you and then the connection continues it is like a snowball effect.

I agree with this, in my short time as a blogger, when I produce a post and let others know of the post through, MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter and then go to other blogs and submit comments, my hits on my blogs are pretty good but when I don’t do any networking my numbers are bad.

I mean they’re not as good as a professional but I’m happy with the results. I just wish I had more time to commit to the blog and post more often.

Sam suggests that you post 5 to 6 times-a-day. Wow that’s a lot. But it’s true, the blogs that are successful post a lot and the best times to post are between 7:30 and 8, 10 to 11 and then again in the afternoon. The reason for this is because many people check their favorite blogs when they get to work in the morning, at lunch, before they leave work and then maybe once again in the evenings. You should always try to post something. People want to see something fresh and new when they click on your page.

 I feel a rush when I post something and then I get another one when I to check to see if I have any hits or comments.  I really enjoy blogging.

I bet there are a lot of you out there who have wanted to try creating a blog but haven’t really been sure how to be successful. I have plenty of more tips to come from Sam and I will be posting them soon.

I’d like to hear from you and see what your ideas for blogs would be. So post the ideas under comments I love hearing from you guys.  

(to be continued)


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