Life According to Krista

briggs Archive

Mar 20

Chapter 9 of Mark BriggsJournalism Next is called “Data-Driven Journalism and Digitizing Your Life”.

This chapter is about the importance of data and proof in any news story.

One thing Briggs emphasizes is the importance of using tools to help your career as a journalist. He says that there is normally minimal risk to trying a new device online, as many of them have free trials or are very inexpensive (Briggs, 244).

One interesting things Briggs says is that technology is

“kind of like driving a car: no matter how cool the car or how many gizmos it has, it’s still the driver who makes the decisions that matter.”

Here are a few things you can do to help you get more organized and catch up with the digital world:

  • Create folders in your email and organize emails. This will help you get the information you need quickly and with ease.
  • Make a list of things you need to get done.
  • Keep a calendar and write any events or plans you have in it.
  • Keep folders of photos on your computer or a hard drive. Make sure these are well-organized by the events.

Some office suites Briggs recommends are Google, Office Live, and Zoho.

These can help keep you organized and up to date on your “to do” lists.


Mar 20

Chapter 8 of Mark Briggs‘ handbook, Journalism Next, explains how important video can be to the success of a blog.

He explains how journalists can use different devices to capture moments and show their audience good footage of an event.

It is best if the video is short enough for people to want to watch. Most viral videos are no longer than about a minute long.

Lastly, Briggs says that perfection in a video is not necessary. As long as a video gets up on a blog site before other news sources get to it, it may be more popular or gain the views. Videos are a great way to gain exposure and if you are in the right place at the right time, it could just help boost your career.

Mar 06

Chapter 11 speaks of the importance of building a digital audience for news.

It is important for a journalist to track everything they post, so they can see who is reading their blog, how many people view it, and what sites it may be going on.

Briggs also makes sure to mention that it is important to look at as many other news stories that may be related to their own that could help add to news stories. Keep up with the news so you’re not the last person to hear about it.

Another tip was to track audience members search history so that the blogger can more easily write posts that relate to their target audience.

Lastly, search engine optimization is a crucial part of blogging. By making your blog appear higher up on search results, more people will go to your page and view the content.

Mar 06

Chapter 10 of Mark Briggs’ Journalism Next book talks about the importance of connecting with the audience and making news seem like a conversation with the viewer.

Some ways of doing this include:

  • Using language that is simple and would flow well in a normal conversation
  • Replying to comments on a blog page
  • Talking about things that are relevant to the audience
  • Conversing through social network sites

Briggs also stresses the importance for bloggers to create a community as well as get involved in the community around their home. It is very important to know people for sources and to help network.

Lastly, be careful to take off offensive or distasteful comments on your site. Although the blogger is not the author, the audience can still view the comments and may sometimes find them offensive enough to stop returning to the site.

Feb 28

I already did a post on Mark Briggs’ chapter three of Journalism Next, but I am going to do a quick list of things that are important in this chapter.

In a blog, it is so important to:

  • Gain viewers and a large audience.
  • Keep your blog organized and easy to use so people can navigate throughout with no problems.
  • Be credible. Make sure to establish credibility and keep it. A journalist is only as good as his sources; don’t jeopardize your credibility by using anonymous sources or ones you can’t trust.
  • Establish your blog with a “beat” or certain subject you focus on.
  • Use links to cite sources.

By doing these simple things, you are already working towards being a better journalist.

Feb 23

Mark Briggs emphasizes the importance of visual aid in blogging in chapter 6 of his Journalism Next book.

Pictures and videos keep the audience captive and interested in the subject matter and can sometimes even help explain what the writer is talking about.

Whether you are using your own photos or copyrighted photos, make sure to site the images and give the photographer proper credit.

Briggs goes on to talk about taking your own shots at events and how to properly use a camera. Look at page 148 for tips on how to make your photos the best they can possibly be. He also gives photo editing tips so you can be creative with your pictures and make them stand out.

He ends by saying,

“Taking good photographs is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Often, reporters find themselves in the middle of something newsworthy or interesting, so basic photography skills are critical for anyone who considers himself or herself a journalist”


Feb 21

In chapter five of Mark Briggs’ Journalism Next book, he talks about how cell phones and mobile devices can play a large role in journalism.

Not only can they capture pictures and videos, but mobile devices are able to quickly post the information to different social media outlets and make news.

Journalists can now use different apps from the iPhone, Droid, or other cell phones to post things to different media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and many more.

Feb 14

Mark Brigg’s Journalism Next talks about how less is more in the blogging world. It is better to have a shorter post that gets straight to the point than a long post that

In blogging, be concise.

Feb 07

Blogs are important because they help the audience better understand an issue going on in the news. They tell stories in a simple fashion and offer other resources for the reader to do their own investigating on the topic.

Some important things to keep in mind when writing a blog are crowdsourcing, open-source reporting and pro-am journalism.

Mark Briggs says that crowdsourcing is “community power on a specific project and demonstrates how a group of committed individuals can outperform a small group of experienced (and paid) professionals” (Briggs, 69).

There are some instances in which trained professionals are necessary, however having the general public participate in something is very important because it shows how meaningful something may be to them. It also allows new and different perspectives of the general population to be put into action, which may make the community’s best interest be a priority.

Open-source reporting is the design, development and distribution of a product and its information.

New things like blogs and Twitter help journalists distribute smaller headlines of news and market themselves. Which, finally leads to pro-am journalism and talking to the audience.

Pro-am journalism is when the readers post on professional journalist’s websites and can comment about the content without being filtered.

The readers are then able to contact the journalist directly as well as discuss articles and news with other members in the community or from all over the world. This also provides new outlooks on topics and, once again, new perspective.

In the end, it is important to know what the audience wants to read as well as letting them get involved. One of the main reasons someone may turn to sources such as Twitter, Facebook, or blogging could be that they find the interactiveness appealing.

Feb 02

“Blogs have forever changed the way that information is shared in our society. They’re fast. They’re interactive” (Briggs, 42).

The second chapter of the Journalism Next book is all about blogging.

Mark Briggs recommends every college journalist start a blog, as it is great practice for the real world of journalism.

He says creating a blog is a great tool to:

  • Learn a new content-management system
  • Build an audience for your writing
  • Report and cultivate a collaborative community once you have an audience

Blogs are great tools for anyone to share their opinion with the world. They help show different perspectives, share ideas and quickly give out information instantaneously.

There are blogs on any subject matter you may be interested in. Go to to see the top 100 blogs.

There are different terms that bloggers use in their writings. Here are a few of the most common words that Mark Briggs found important:

  • Post: an entry on a blog.
  • Permalink: a link available to view a specific post by itself. Comments are also available for viewing on this page.
  • Trackback: a function that allows bloggers to see when someone has reposted their material through a link.
  • Blogroll: links the blogger posts to the side of their site. They help the reader see what sites the blogger may enjoy going to and find other useful websites.
  • Vlog: a video blog with room for commentary.
  • Moblog: blogging from a mobile device.

To begin creating a blog, Briggs recommends using a site like WordPress or Blogger. He says they are both fairly simple websites that offer tutorials on how to start your blog.

The next step for a new blogger is to come up with a creative name for their site. When doing this, the user will have to come up with a domain name for their blog as well as a title to go at the top of their page.

Finally, to finish the setup of a blog, you must choose a theme that is visually appealing and goes along with the type of blog you are creating. There are simple themes already set up or you can customize your page.

Mark Briggs then goes on to talk about gaining an audience for your blog. He says that it is imperative that a blogger “knows what readers want and can clearly and effectively communicate an idea, news or analysis quickly” (Briggs, 55).

Content and immediacy are key for a successful blog.

Here are a few tips Briggs gives when beginning your writing as a blogger (these can be found in more detail on page 60 of his Journalism Next book):

  • Organize your ideas
  • Be direct
  • Be the authority, with a personality
  • Make your posts scanable
  • Link, summarize, and analyze
  • Be specific with headlines
  • Have a good attitude
  • Use photos and screenshots

Mark Briggs also emphasizes the importance of posting daily to keep the audience coming back to your site.

He also says it is important for the content on your blog to relate to the audience, meaning you will have to investigate what is going on in the community. Nothing makes a person want to keep reading more than a story that they can easily relate to.

Lastly, to gain a larger audience, make sure to comment to other people’s blogs, signing off with your blog name. People who read the comments may be interested enough to go see what your blog is about. Link other blogs to your own posts; you never know if the author will repay the favor.

Happy blogging!