Sharing blogs with a Michigan State University news-writing class
Take a guess: How many Americans die each year from cigarettes?

Introducing myself and my blogs to the Michigan State University newswriting class

Tomorrow when I speak to a newswriting class at MSU, I hope the students will ask certain basic questions about me.  As future journalists, they need to be able to decide whether I have credibility.  Do I know what I'm talking about?

My topic is blogging and, more specifically, I've been asked to talk about my blogs.

First, they should have a little background about myself:

  • I graduated from the MSU School of Journalism in the late sixties.  During this time I worked on the State News covering a handful of beats, including the Michigan Legislature.
  • After graduation, I worked at a variety of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Ypsilanti (MI) Press, Macomb Daily and Panax Newspapers, a chain of newspapers in Michigan and various other states.
  • I worked more than a decade at the Press Room Manager at the Michigan State Capitol where I served as a conduit between the media, the legislature, executive agencies and interest groups.
  • Since that time, I worked for three state senators, including the Senate Majority Leader and for a member of the first-term limited class in the House of Representatives.

I first heard of blogging about five years ago after reading a story in the Detroit Free Press about blogs.  It was written by David Crumm, their religion reporter, who described how a handful of people in southeastern Michigan were using the blogs as a personal journal.

I was fascinated and kept learning about this new channel of communication. 

When started, I played with a blog about being a member of the first class of baby boomers.  I found writing a blog post to be compeltely different than what I learned in newswriting 201 at MSU.  I could write hard news but I had a struggle writing in the first person.

During this time I could start to see the vision for blogs and how they could be used as a new vehicle to carry a message.  Then Howard Dean came along with his blog network from around the country and I was hooked. 

That's when I started using a new blog platform from Typepad.  My blogging effort began in earnest. 

I started my personal blog, The Daily Grit.  Some have asked if the blog name was my commentary on the grittiness of life.  Actually, I remembered a weekly newspaper from my youth called, The Grit.  It was a cornucopia interesting information leading the reader to a smile or to an effort to learn more on a topic.

My new blog was also a place for me to try to verbalize parts of my life that I had trouble talking about. 

In a little more than two years, I have had 25,000 plus hits from around the world. 

I have several other blogs on various topics.