Blogging Foot and Mouth

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Cornish CowsHaving taken an rather uninformative side-swipe at the corporate blogging life in my last post, I feel it’s only fair to point out some good stuff that’s been going on, too.

Last Friday’s news of an outbreak of foot and mouth in the home counties sent the Farmer’s Weekly team scrambling into action. And, as well as putting out the normal news stories on the subject, they also blogged about it heavily.

Personally, I was most impressed with the Taking Stock team, who blog about livestock sales. They used the blog to post rapid updates on various sales around the country and how they dealt with the news and restrictions. The blog saw a significant surge in traffic which suggests to me that farmers were quite genuinely using it for updates.

As well as news updated on Food for Thought, the team also used the recently re-launched farming forum to keep concerned readers up to date with events. Foot and mouth discussions like this one, with the journalists jumping in and feeding information to the farmers as they find it are a really great example of community-focused journalism at work.

Isabel, Julian, Chrissie and the rest of the team did (and are still doing) an excellent job.

There may be a future for this professional journalism thing yet…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.