25 March 2011

Edublogournalism

This weekend, I will be blogging about the ASCD conference. We are making a trade: My corner of cyberspace in exchange for a free registration…and press pass.

In the edusphere, we don’t talk much about the potentially blurry line between blogging and journalism. It is, however, a hot topic amongst science bloggers. I think that this is because there is such a range of science magazines and newspaper sections. Education does not have its own version of Scientific American or Discover. My hunch is that there are far fewer reporters out there devoted to an education beat than there is for science. Those who see themselves purely as science journalists are not always welcoming to blogs. But as newspapers move to online formats, they bring up questions about how online content (and those who develop it) are viewed. If you blog on behalf of a magazine, such as Scientific American or Discover---are you a blogger…or a reporter? Both?

My adopted mother has been involved with journalism for years. Even in her retirement, she still goes over to the next town one day a week to help the local paper with their layout and other tasks. I don’t see what I do here as fitting into the neat box of journalism. My blog, as you know, is a mash of personal thoughts and reflections on my life as a professional educator. Over the years, there has been any number of iterations as I have shifted positions and had my eyes opened to many different parts of the system.

I do, however, believe that blogs have earned a seat at the communications table. Our style may be informal, but our reach is far greater than a piece of paper could be at any given point in time. We may have page hits instead of a circulation number, search engine optimization issues vs. the Reader’s Periodic Guide, and a network instead of readership---but we are all after the same goal: to share what we know (or think we know) and to generate dialogue.

I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and join in the conversation here this weekend. Maybe next year, you can join us in person.

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