Tales from the reporters’ blogs

From the National Writers’ Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:

Reporters from the newspaper triumvirate of South Florida came together as a panel to speak of the joys and dangers inherent in blogging.

Palm Beach Post entertainment columnist Leslie Gray Streeter, Miami Herald reporter Oscar Corral, and South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports columnist Ethan Skolnick, appear to agree on the following points:

-Blogging is a great way to write about tidbits that can’t or don’t make it into the print edition. Oscar Corral regaled us with the story of how he once posted a photo on his blog of the finely manicured feet of Alina Ferndandez, Fidel Castro’s erstwhile daughter. Her feet are apparently popular in Miami now.

-Get permission from your publication before starting a blog on the side–if you enjoy collecting a paycheck that is.

-Readers often form a small community in the blog’s comments. Like all small towns, there are disputes.

-Comments should not be filtered. Delete the comment if someone gets nasty or insults another reader. “You’re at the mercy of 15-year-old boys on the Internet,” Skolnick said. “It can get ugly sometimes.”

-Much of the fun in blogging lies in circumventing editors and in the immediacy of readers’ responses. “It’s like throwing a piece of meat into a piranha-filled pond,” Corral said.

-Don’t take the writing on your blog for granted. Streeter once got 90 comments from rabid fans of American Idol contender Kellie Pickler (See: Kellie Pickler, Evil Genius?). Streeter had suggested that Pickler was faking her whole “Ca-lah-mah-ree” bit. FOX News even reported on the comments in her blog. And on that note…

-People do not tend to distinguish the writing on a reporter’s blog from what runs in the print edition.

-Write shorter posts. Write plenty of posts.

-Ask questions to your readers.

Have anything to add to this fine list?

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's Sun-Sentinel.com and OrlandoSentinel.com. Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.

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