Here's the audio file (MP3/17.4MB/1:16:03) for this Saturday, October 18, 2008, session: Download C4_Craft
Freelance journalist Amy Gahran and Leonard Witt, Professor of Communication at Kennesaw State University, discussed blogging and social media and how it can boost journalists' careers. The two panelists examined how to use programs like Twitter and blogging software like WordPress to help media stay relevant in public discourse.
Gahran, an avid blogger, asserted that blogs are beneficial in that they are allowing mass media to be more "human than in the past." According to Gahran, blogs allow anyone access — therefore they have a broad social appeal. Gahran suggested that journalists should use blogs as a tool to increase their notoriety in the media world. "Blogs help establish your personal brand," said Gahran, which is important because, according to Gahran, "There's no loyalty in the business. Zip. None. News organizations are laying you off like fleas."
Witt, who in addition to his teaching position is the author of the public journalism blog pj.net, said that blogs have a tremendous value — although it's not always instantly obvious. "Initially, I would say 'this is a waste of my time'," said Witt. After further investigation, though, Witt is now a proclaimed advocate of blogging. "It gives you more authority," he said. "It's paid off for me with a 60k grant and about 10 other things I can mention."