I was delighted to find Jessica DaSilva’s blog (via Pat Thornton). Jessica, a journalism student at the University of Florida, had a recent entry about her internship at the Tampa Tribune that took me back to the good old days of unadulterated enthusiasm.
Reading through Jessica’s blog shows you don’t have to be an expert with years of experience to have something valuable to offer.
So why aren’t more students blogging? I suspect it’s because, all over the country, students are still being taught to have a fear of blogging, bloggers and blogs.
I talked to a group of students at Lebanon Valley College this spring about blogging, and the professor challenged each of the students to start their own blog.
Some of them are really impressive offerings. PA Press Watch was a great read in the Pennsylvania primaries, as he dissected how different newspapers covered everything. Popcorn Nation and Not Just Another Indie Hipster have been embedding videos and linking with the best of them. Over the Counter and Today’s Menu have given interesting looks at working in a pharmacy and restaurant, respectively.
These are difficult subjects to maintain blogs on, but they need not be professional. What’s really cool about the project is that the students are beginning to understand the culture of blogging. You see them leaving comments on each other’s entries. You see them linking to each other, or leaving comments in other blogs.
These students, once they find themselves at a news organization, will be much better suited to starting a blog on their beat. Having maintained a blog while in college was one of my big selling points in being hired for my current reporting job.
So let me ask: Do you know of any other students blogging about journalism, like Jessica DaSilva? If you are one, please make sure to let me know you exist.
UPDATE (12:22 p.m.): Jessica makes two great points in the comment thread:
And I agree that more students should be blogging. I’ve noticed that in keeping up my blog, it forces me to keep abreast on my news to ensure I know what I’m talking about.
It’s also teaching me how to combine my own personal flair with what I know. Later, when I have a beat to blog about, I feel like it’ll help me connect with readers so they know I’m not a robot.