Not-so-live blog of today’s Online Journalism lecture

Today in my Online Journalism tutorial we did a practice exercise to get our heads around the concept of live blogging for our in-class assessment next week.

Live blogging is pretty much monitoring something as it happens, picking out the good bits, and publishing them online.

Here’s my not-so-live blog about this morning’s lecture from one of the subject’s tutors, Graham.

So… how to make money when “journalism is a dying industry”?

Apparently it isn’t, according to Graham. While journalism may be facing some restructuring, the industry is definitely not dying.

Online media is changing the industry, not killing it. And even though it is true that jobs are disappearing in “legacy media”, more jobs are being created in new media.

Journalism will never die as long as there is an interest in news.

Online platforms are forcing journalists to innovate or die to keep up with news readers’ demands. Graham says that social media is now the most common way readers receive breaking news.

While social media is driving traffic to news sites, it is also creating a revenue problem. Readers come to a story from Facebook, read the story, then go straight back to Facebook.

One-page views don’t generate income. Graham says there are old-school money-making methods including ad-supported websites and subscriptions.

But how do you get people to pay for something when they can get it for free elsewhere?

One of the number one news values we learn at university is interest: is the story interesting? Apparently people will pay to read what you write if you’re interesting enough. Who knew?

Which brings me to the next point: new-school money-making methods.

Blogging.

We had a lecture earlier in the semester by Nikki Parkinson of Styling You who told us that you must blog persistently and consistently to build a loyal following.

The same rings true for making money from your online journalism blog. However, there is something else you must consider.

Another news value. Credibility. These keep cropping up in journalism… maybe we learn about them because they really are important.

Interest and credibility are two key things to making money from online journalism. People won’t read you if you’re boring, and they won’t believe you if you’re untrustworthy.

Boring + untrustworthy = $0

But is blogging a viable way of earning a living?

Yes. Over half of bloggers earn less than $100. A MONTH. LESS THAN $100 A MONTH.

Graham suggests that using a blog as a platform for showcasing work may be a better option than relying on it to make you money.

So… this all sounds kind of daunting. Journalism has never been an easy job, and journalism will never be an easy job. Journalists do what they do because they love what they do, and there is money out there… somewhere. We just have to look hard. Way hard.

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