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Read our blogs for more info on H-M staff, stories

August 06, 2008

If you've done even one search on the Internet, you've probably come across what is called a "blog."

The term is a short version of "Weblog." Most early blogs were online diaries in which people chronicled the events of their daily lives, sometimes adding pictures and video.

But blogs have evolved and many who write them now are professionals who share information about what they're doing - and why.

For those in the newspaper business, writing a blog is a chance to pass along things that couldn't be included in a regular news story, or a chance to share tidbits that aren't relevant to the subject being covered.

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The Herald-Mail offers a number of blogs written by staff members. To read them, go to www.herald-mail.com and click on "opinion" and then on "blogs."

Once you do that, you'll find blogs by the following Herald-Mail staff members:

John League, editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail.

His blog covers a variety of topics, including commentary on news stories and a look at how editors are seeking reader opinions on a redesigned newspaper.

The editor's blog. Most recent posts have been written by weekend editor Tim Shea. The most recent describes reporter Andy Schotz's decision to cover the departure of the West Virginia Air National Guard's 167th Airlift Wing for training that will eventually take them to Iraq.

Reporters should never become part of the story, but on this blog, readers get to see how a reporter covers interesting things that happen in the middle of the night.

Free Mason. This blog is written by assistant sports editor Andy Mason. A runner himself, Mason blogs about everything form historic runners such as Billy Mills, who won Olympic gold in 1964, to a colleague's battle to get into shape.

Kauffman's Korner. Writen by Dan Kauffman, a sports writer, this blog focuses on the high school sports he covers, with occasional comments on regional and national sports events.

Koeble's Korner. Sports writer Tim Koeble writes mainly about golf - the tournaments he covers and his efforts to improve his own game.

Marking Time. Sports editor Mark Keller's blog covers local, regional and national topics. His latest post was about why the sports section is smaller than it used to be - and the fact that it's beyond the sports department's control.

News In Turn. Newsroom intern Josh Shaw writes about his experience at The Herald-Mail this summer. His posts are longer and more detailed that most others and contain lots of information about how the newsroom works.

The Hungry Runner. Written by a Herald-Mail official, the blog combines his love of running with his appreciation for good food.

The Garden Blog. Editorial page editor Bob Maginnis blogs about growing things and the critters than can help or hurt your garden.

All of these blogs are interesting, not only because they provide additional information about the subjects they cover, but because they also allow the reporters to speak in their own voices.

If you've ever wondered what the reporter who covered your event is realy like, these blogs will give you some insight into the personal side of professional journalists.

Blogs also give readers a chance for feedback. If you disagree with a blogger about the prospects for the Washington Wizards or the best restaurant in Baltimore, your comments will be welcome and shared with other blog readers.

If you have any suggestions for a blog that would cover your favorite topic, send them to Blog Talk, c/o Editorial Page Editor, The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

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