Does your college newspaper cover the blog beat?

Bryan Murley at Reinventing College Media lays out some instructions for covering the campus blogosphere.

I think it’s a good idea, but I look at it another way: Reading blogs written by students, faculty, and alumni should be a way to find story ideas — not necessarily a beat in itself — unless, of course, your campus has an exceptionally vibrant blog scene.

But, if you do have the sort of college blogosphere that’s worth including as a once-a-week feature, the only place I would consider putting this in print would be on the opinion page, and I would only include quotes from posts that were on topics the newspaper had covered that week or about local/campus issues. Quote from the campus blogosphere to provide a range of perspectives on a controversial issue, but try to keep things relevant to your audience.

That said, assigning a reporter to monitor campus and local blogs is a great way to dig up stories before they bubble up to the local metro newspaper or the fax machine. Ideally, you’ll find out what students and community members are excited about, angry about, or interested in.

So keep an eye on the blogosphere, bring some different opinions together in print if you can, or just start a blog at your student newspaper and point to your fellow campus bloggers early and often.

The short list of tools you need to do this: Technorati, Bloglines.

One Reply to “Does your college newspaper cover the blog beat?”

  1. I guess I was thinking of the blog beat along both lines – as a place for copy and as a place for story ideas. The person who covers the language arts beat, for instance, does so for story ideas, mainly. That’s akin to what I envision as the main purpose for a blog beat, and excerpting blog copy on the editorial page would be the icing on the cake.

    I don’t even know if this would be the sole beat of a reporter, but one of several perhaps. Generating story ideas is the key, though.

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