Worth 50 points
Find another blogger from anywhere in the world who reports on the same (or very similar) beat as you. So, for example, if you’re covering Philly restaurants, find a Philly restaurant blogger. If you’re covering indie music, find an indie music blogger. If you’re covering Rowan football, find a college football blogger. Reach out to this individual and setup a short interview, either over the phone, email, Skype, or some form of instant messaging.
You are ultimately going to write a mini-profile of this individual (shoot for 300-500 words) that should touch on the following points:
—Make sure to get the basic info: Full name, age, hometown, title of blog, etc.
—When did you start blogging about this topic?
—Why did you start this blog?
—What do you find is the most challenging thing about maintaining this blog?
—What role do you think blogging should play in the future of journalism?
—What’s the most interesting or exciting aspect of running this blog?
—What advice do you have for someone just starting to maintain a beat blog?
- Descriptive headline that uses key words and includes the person’s name so it can be found in a search. Also five key word tags, including person’s name. (5 points)
- A photo of your subject and credit that identifies the source of the photo. (5 points)
- Contains hyperlinks to background information. (5 points)
- Original reporting and effort in finding a good subject. (Did you find a relevant blogger with something to say about your topic?) (15 points)
- Content of the profile. (Is it compelling? Does it offer useful information? Is it interesting to read?) (20 points)
-1 for each typo, spelling, grammar or AP style error
Here are some great examples from former students:
—Sneakerheads Anonymous: A Profile About Sneaker Blogger, Colin Biz.
—“The Beer Babe”: Carla Jean Lauter, freelance beer writer
—Matthew Lazorwitz of The Matt Signal Talks About Running a Positive Blog About Comics
—Maj. Pain Wants you to know what our Warriors Go Through at One Marine’s View
—Author, freelance science writer and “National Geographic” blogger Brian Switek offers me his thoughts on science blogging