Jeff Jarvis is reporting today that Brian Stelter of TVNewser has been hired by The New York Times business section to cover media online and in print. Nay-sayers would argue that he wasn’t even a journalist. It’s tough to argue now.
The reason that’s good news — besides Brian’s energy and talents now adding to the paper of record — is that it shows how anyone can take on a beat, do it on their own, make it their own, and rise up to the top of the field. Nobody covered TV news as well and completely as Brian. That’s why TV news execs read (and fed) him. That’s why the Times hired him. He did this without a journalism degree or any degree, actually — or even the legal ability to drink beer. On a blog, nobody knows you’re a dog. They just knew that he knew his stuff.
Pay attention, journalism students: When I suggest that you blog, this is what I’m talking about. Take a beat. Add journalism to the discussion around it. Answer a need. And if you’re good, good things can happen.
Blogging establishes credibility, that is a fact. Lawyers can learn a lesson from Brian and take on a niche, whether it be an area of litigation or law in a certain location, then use a blog to establish themselves as a credible source on the matter. If they work hard on a subject, positive exposure will likely follow.
I’m sure lawyers don’t want a job offer covering the law beat at the local paper but increased blogging could lead to them being part of stories. Being seen as a credible source on your nice may mean a reporter comes to you for an opinion on a recent case. Who doesn’t want free exposure like that?