Two perspectives on blogging and journalism, two calls opportunities to submit your work to be published online, and one very solid entry on the importance of craftsmanship in a freelance writing career are the catches of the day for our ongoing writing and editing link-fest.
First, over at Columbia Journalism Review, an article by Ann Cooper reviews the impact that bloggers are having on mainstream media reporting. In “The Bigger Tent,” she covers shifts in the way organizations outside of journalism are treating bloggers, and the issues this trend raises for mainstream journalists. Along with many pundits, she concludes that the journalist-versus-blogger smackdown is over, but Web logs continue to reshape what journalism, as a profession, really means. In this segment, she quotes NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen.
“These days it’s more the act of journalism that gets you entry into the tent, not whether you’re doing it every day, or doing it for pay….Does this mean we’re one big happy family in the big new tent? Far from it.
“In an interview, Rosen said many bloggers still fume that they have second-class status; even when (bloggers) break news, ‘there’s still a sense that a story hasn’t really arrived until it’s picked up by the mainstream media.’ And while some traditionalists may be enjoying the breezier writing style that blogging allows, they wonder what it’s doing to journalism’s hallowed standards.”
Overall the article lays out the current trends and tensions quite well, and seemingly with little bias for or against blogging.
For those who have already recognized that journalism and blogging don’t have to be an either/or proposition, there is a 7-part series over at the Online Journalism Blog that covers the results of a survey of 200 journalists in 30 countries who blog. Posts cover topics ranging from blogging’s role in generating story ideas to its impact on the post-publication “life” of a story. This series might be quite useful for writers wanting some ammo to gain permission to start a blog associated with a print or online publication.
The Writing Journey blog has been posting a series on “How to Start Your Freelance Writing Business,” and has an especially good post on honing your craft. Author Bob aptly summarizes the need to take the skills and technique involved in writing for Internet sites seriously and offers several good tips on how to do it, including my favorite:
“You write. Plain and simple. Write every day. Write many kinds of things, test out different ideas, and see what you’re capable of and interested in.”
Amen. I would add that there are all sorts of great resources for writers wanting to improve their craft, including the book Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, and the old stand-by On Writing Well by William Zinsser.
Finally, here are two links to calls for writing submissions you may be interested in:
BREVITY, a magazine featuring short works of creative nonfiction, has put out a call for short nonfiction narrative blog entries. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, and authors whose work is chosen to reprint in “The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3,” edited by Lee Gutkind, forthcoming in August 2009 from W. W. Norton. Those bloggers chosen as contributors will receive $50 for one-time reprint rights.
If brief fiction is more your style, Shortfolio, a blog/website which publishes short stories of 500 words or less, has put out a call for new submissions. The only requirements are that you meet the word limit, would like to have your story commented upon, and that the story not have been published anywhere else beforehand.