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There is a huge ongoing debate about whether bloggers are journalists. After reviewing the comments and arguments on both sides, I would have to say that bloggers are not journalists as there are levels of trainings beyond writing that journalists undertake. On the other hand, it can be said that many trained journalists are not good bloggers. Just because you can write doesn’t mean you’re well versed in the art of online conversations. Regardless of where you fall on the blogger – journalist continuum, there are three types of news posts you can write on your blogs which will help you become a better news writer and overcome blogger’s block.
Next to cartoons, I think editorials are the most popular sections in newspapers. Editorials are simply opinions. In newspapers, these are written by editors of the newspapers with thoughts from readers.
As a blogger, you can share your opinions on a specific topic, review products and services, or provide feedback on events. All of these serve as editorials; but you must include an opinion.
Long-form journalism articles often exceed 1,000 words, and are normally found in newspapers like The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. The writers of these stories put a lot of time and effort into these articles. They often start with the history of the situation, and give viewpoints from several sides of the story. Also, they highlight what’s happening now. Depending on the story, they may detail what’s going to happen next.
You can create long-form journalism posts on your blog. But unless you’re Huffington Post, I wouldn’t make this a common practice for three reasons:
Sites covering specific regions or some aspect of a region, like Patch.com or Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource, are considered hyperlocal. These are sites where local people sharing local news. In the case of community newspapers, people who live in the community write about the community, whereas you just need to know about the community to work for Patch. For the purpose of the post, I’m going to focus on the former.
I think hyperlocal community sites are great because the content is written by people in the community for the people in the community, so they can totally relate to and care about what’s happening. Also, there are better relationships between the media and the people.
As a blogger, you can create a hyperlocal site by focusing on a particular aspect of a community that is relevant to your site’s topic and audience. For example, if you have a writing site, you can post about local writing classes, writing instructors, writing programs, and local authors. The options are unlimited with a little creativity.
Above are 3 news posts you can create which will help you become a better news writer and overcome blogger’s block. You have to have patience as they require more time and patience to create. You can learn more about these posts as well as 59 other types of posts in my upcoming book, 62 Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block.
Do you create news posts on your site? Do you have a hyperlocal site?
If you said yes to either, share the link to your site and post in the comment section below.
Marcie Hill is a gifted writer who loves blogging and social media. She is the founder of The Write Design Company, and owns three blogs: Marcie Writes, Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource and Real Skate Stories. She is also the author of 62 Posts to Overcome Blogger's Block, scheduled to launch in August 2012.