New Journalists get to know “everything about everything” by starting a niche news service that discusses issues people care about. I think by using topics that a larger audience is sure to care about, you are ensuring that you have a base readership at the outset of the endeavor. The endeavor, of course, is to sustain that readership and see it grow over time. As time passes, and as the new journalist writes his/her blog, experience is gained. The experience, in the case of the journalist, comes through logistics, organization, and research. The journalist must be a vigilant researcher in order to keep up with the latest breaking stories their news service covers. Organization is key as well, the blog must be updated habitually. Whether these updates come on a day by day basis is entirely up to the journalist. The journalist will learn how to appropriate the updates with time.
To me, Rosen’s idea is for new journalists to throw themselves into the “fire” headfirst. As the journalist thinks on his/her feet in a scramble, he/she picks up new ideas to improve the process of writing for his/her blog. The only way to learn the life of an online Journalist is simply to become an online journalist. I think our group work on this project has followed this same concept. Want to learn what collaborative research is? Conduct a collaborative research project. I’ve learned that it is difficult to schedule interviews and that it is uneasy to build a list of research questions, given that research itself is no small chore. For my group project, each member juggled the three tasks of researching, building interview questions, and conducting the interview themselves in with collaboration. Now that the project is near completion I recognize that If I was assigned this project again I would handle it differently. My research would have been conducted more swiftly so that I would have had more time to interview. And I would have mandated that each group member state their availability to collaborate at the very first meeting, to ensure that meetings could be more aptly planned and have better attendance. It would have created better collaborative opportunities for our group. I don’t regret any of the decisions I made personally, or those that I made with my group. Without being “thrown into the fire” I wouldn’t have been able to figure out all the smaller details that went into the project.
Nobody can be perfect the first time round in any field, and I think that is another part of what Rosen was trying to say. In order to be the master of your craft, you have to work at it, and what a better way to do that than jumping right into your field of work. Whether its jumping straight into online journalism, or jumping right into collaborative group research, the idea is that with anything new, mastery – or even a basic understanding – comes with time and practice.