There was an article this weekend* in the Chicago Jewish News about the Jewish blogosphere. It's pretty standard, as far as blogosphere articles go, [as opposed to this awesome one,] but there was a part that really stuck out to me:
Others admit the blogosphere tends to attract wannabe journalists, who see the Web as a viable marketing tool.Now, obviously this is nothing new. But I was thinking about it, and trying to figure out just how true that is: After all, there are millions of blogs, and it is incredibly difficult to truly work your way up to the point that a large swath of people are really noticing and reading you. How much can that help someone in pursuing a journalism career? Yes, it's great practice in terms of writing, but in terms of typical journalism, it's not comparable in style or much of anything. (Is it?)
"A lot of writers use them to test the waters for their writing," Schiano said. "It's a new form of publishing."
As a freelance writer who has gotten jobs from blogging, [ed: Esther] Kustanowitz [of Jewlicious and other blogs] affirmed this. "I'm not going to lie-it's also a place for self-promotion," Kustanowitz says. "It's doing P.R. work for me even when I'm not doing anything for me. That's the Internet for you."
But, as I noted at DovBear, perhaps it's a little more than that. People tend to write in many different styles, even if they have a certain general style that's consistent. Of those styles, it's often hard to determine which will connect most with readers - a key factor in getting articles printed in magazines, newspapers, or any other medium. Not only does blogging let people see for themselves which of their styles connect the most with readers, they get feedback from people what was and wasn't good about their article by seeing what they did and didn't like, and what people misunderstood because of how something was written. Based on this extra feedback, a person can determine what material of theirs is best to send as an example of their talent why they search for a job - a dramatic improvement over what they may have sent otherwise. Add in the extra bonus that an editor somewhere may read a post and think, "Hey, this person can write!", and it makes perfect sense.
What do you think? Does blogging really make that much of a difference in the pursuit of a journalism career - or any other career for that matter?
* I believe. Chigaoan Robbie, in the comments at DovBear, who also mentioned it, said he thinks he's seen it before. It may just have been reprinted.
Technorati tags: Jewish, Blogosphere, Article.