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The Empire

NPR's guide to blogging: act like Andrew Sullivan, Ben Smith, Ta-Nehisi Coates

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NPR is putting some money behind me and a few other bloggers around the country, trying to bolster the on-line, digital reporting at public radio stations.

Lots of references to niche reporting, local stories with national trends, 21st century journalism, social media, all that stuff.

To that end, we got a tutorial yesterday at NPR's headquarters on, basically, how to blog. My favorite part was the description of "the Sully lede" : "proper noun, verb, block quote." It's a style often used by Andrew Sullivan.

(For example, my contribution to the genre: "Jimmy Vielkind pulls back the curtain on Andrew Cuomo’s daily activities, and discovers something is missing.")

The slideshow says the Sully lede allows you to aggregate information quickly, for your readers. I'd add to this point that it also helps bloggers foster a sense that they're involved in an on-going conversation with readers. And, if you have a successful web site, that's true.

Ta-Nehisi Coates comes in for some flattery, as does Ben Smith. Coates for fostering a community within the comments section; Smith for employing the Sully lede and his all-round prolificness. (Excellence in reporting and news judgement for all three goes without saying.)

Anyway, if this site feels like it's had some growing pains, just know, it's being worked on.