Advice to journalism students for being online.
Its getting to that point in the academic calendar where I’m writing documentation for the modules I’ll be teaching this year. Looking back over previous years, I’ve noticed how bits of information appear and disappear in the guidance notes I write; notes about certain types of kit have been replaced with general advice about phones; Reading lists become increasingly digital.
But in all of the changes, and beyond the standard academic boilerplate, there are some elements that have stayed the same. One is a section called ‘guidance on blogging’. I started including it nearly 10 years ago and I based it on the ethics guide put forward by Suzanne Stefanac in her book Dispatches from Blogistan: A Travel Guide for the Modern Blogger:
Sometimes it feels like we spend an increasing amount of time thinking about how to ‘do’ and less on how to ‘be’ online. So it’s nice to reflect that even when the form changes, the basic approach can still stand.
I know that blogging is fast becoming a bit of a legacy concept, which I think is a real shame; I still think a blog is about the space to say* why* you think something in a world of people saying what they think in 140 chars or less. But the sidelining of the concept doesn’t undermine the usefulness of Stefenac’s advice. So I’m going to keep it in. Relevance might dictate that I replace blogging and blog with publishing and publish, but they still work for me as a guide for being online.