Can blogging be taken seriously?

 

Back in the day (about five years ago), I was completely against blogging. I thought it was pointless. Why does anyone want to read your diary online? Mind you, I was comparing the idea of a blog to things like xanga and myspace, where thirteen year olds thought it was okay to post minute-by-minute updates of their day. I’ll admit I went through the phase for about three months. After that, it got exhausting.

From that point, my interpretation of blogging was forever skewed. I didn’t think news bloggers could be legitimate and there was no way I would rely on them for a daily update on the world. Perez Hilton was not a journalist—so how could anyone turn uncensored posts to the web into legitimate journalism? I think the answer depends on the author.

Most authors circle their blogs around a point or topic. There’s nothing wrong with stating your opinion, but my issue with blogging is the fact that people can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion. The influx of news outlets online makes it difficult to determine which are reliable and some people don’t bother to try to figure that out.

My goal as a blogger for this summer is to write. I’m interning at a broadcast station and I don’t want my writing skills to drain, so here I am. Now the issue is whether or not blogging is actually helping me keep my skills sharp, or if it’s just a waste of time. I don’t necessarily judge that based on the amount of readers I have, rather the quality of my posts. Blogging does not require as much research as legitimate news writing, but it can if I’m writing about something that requires a source.

Journalism is about telling the truth. It wasn’t always a noble art fostered by unbiased men and women simply writing what they saw—it was propaganda. Then it evolved into rough drafts of history books, in which both sides were given equal merit.  Now it’s moving back toward a media with more opinionated outlets than straight news. But blogs can fit into either category.  

And the cycle continues…

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Taking the Call: It’s Your Story

So, I’m sitting in the office, it’s day two or three of my internship. I’m doing research, making some phone calls and monitoring the Twitter account…all normal intern-ish stuff. All of a sudden, there’s a call for me.

Wait, why does anyone want to talk to me? I’m just the intern, just the one doing the research and sending the emails. But now I’m on the phone with a professional trying to see if he’s a strong candidate for an on-camera interview. Do I know what I’m doing? Absolutely not. Am I freaking out? Absolutely.

Fast-forward about five minutes and I’m hanging up the most nerve-racking call of my life when my boss turns to me and starts critiquing my call. One thing really stood out. “Take the call. It’s your story.” You have to own the interview and control the situation. 

My story? As an intern, I didn’t really think anything would actually be “mine,” per say. I just thought I’d help. I guess I should have assumed that I’d be working my way up, and why shouldn’t I own a piece of everything I do? Interning is about showcasing your talents and growing into the professional environment. Things might not have my byline right away, but there’s no reason why I can’t own my work. 

This summer is the beginning of my story; and I’m going to make every call count.

There’s always one…

Coming to a new place brings a fresh start: new places, new schedules, new experiences, but regardless of where I’ve been or what leadership program hands out the t-shirts, I tend to see the same people.

There’s always one… who has never been away from home. They freak out and recluse themselves into a comfort zone for the entire program. They’ll do the minimal amount of work, but mostly just stay in bed or stick to the friends they brought from home.

There’s always one… who doesn’t take anything seriously. They’ll blow through the program with more focus on the weekend than their internship and classes. When the summer’s over, they always seem to wonder why their killer networking at the bar didn’t quite pay off.

There’s always one… who takes it too seriously. They’ll stick to the scheduled events, tours and activities laid out by the program. They’re cordial to peers and roommates, but any kind of personality trait (other than uptight and determined) rarely appears.

There’s always one… who tries to do it all. Someone who wants to do, see and go everywhere with everyone. This one is usually me. I’m focused on interning, focused on classes, focused on blogging, focused on making friends, focused on seeing everything in Washington, focused on…you get the picture. My theory: I can sleep in August.

So, which person makes the ideal intern? What mindset do you need to have the best experience? Or is there a balance somewhere that I’m not seeing? Maybe I’ll be able to answer after I’ve caught up on sleep.

Preparations II: Books, roomies and minor panic attacks

Countdown: 18 days.

Books-bought.

Roommates- met.

Panic attack- almost.

I can handle classes. I can handle being thrown into a new place with new people. I felt a little sheepish sending the “Hey! We’re going to be roommates! I’ll bring the coffee pot if you bring the vacuum cleaner!” email. I guess since I’m being housed with four other upperclassmen we’re all used to it by now though. Everyone seems just as peppy and excited as I am, so we should have a good time as long as my nerdy habits don’t get in the way of anyone’s eight week vacation.

The looming thought of my internship is still scaring me a bit though. Maybe I’m doubting myself, maybe I’ve been putting off my homework for too long, or maybe it’s somewhere in between. I wanted a challenge this summer after out-growing one weekly newspaper’s and one radio company’s summer internships. I wanted to get out of small town Connecticut and put my hard work to the test. Be careful what you wish for…

Preparations Part 1

The semester at Stony Brook is officially over. I’ll move out Friday and spend the next few weeks at home. It’s almost a tease having to wait three weeks to leave. My new boss gave me my first assignment–research. Research the crap out of business reporting.

My strengths have always included people skills, reliability and a knack with the written word. My problem areas are the ones that include technology and anything having to do with numbers. So naturally, I’ll be spending my summer at a broadcast station helping with stories about the world of business. One thing I don’t do is fail. Bring on the business.