By JODI RAVE of the Missoulian
He described blogging as “to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.” His article is available at www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/andrew-sullivan-why-i-blog.
Sullivan's words reminded me of my professor and creative nonfiction classmates who encouraged me to break free from the constraints of daily journalism, where stories have a neat beginning and a predictable ending. The students had a tough sell. That's what we do as journalists. But I also appreciated their willingness to explore diverse writing genres.
I realized a blog could give me a little more freedom to write spontaneously. Blog postings will allow me to go with news as it happens. For example: I just received an e-mail from a source who told me the Interior Department plans to close the probate office in Rapid City, S.D. This is the office that handles land transactions for all the Sioux reservations after someone dies. Some of my sources were livid.
I called the Office of Hearings and Appeals in Arlington, Va., to ask about the possible closure. “We don't have any plans to do that,” said Earl Waits, OHA's chief probate judge. “But we're always looking at restructuring to provide the best services to our clientele.”
I've already posted the item on the Buffalo Post blog. It could easily turn into a news story. I will still continue to write full, explanatory stories in the newspaper. Meanwhile, the news doesn't have to linger on my desk or the inbox of my e-mail. With the click of a “publish” button, it's posted.