Final Project Proposal
In the past five years I have spent studying to become a journalist, I have learned how to crank out obituaries, nail difficult interviews and create some semblance of order in my notes so that I can hit a deadline without a major cardiac episode.
Northeastern University has prepared me for most challenges I expect to face as a working reporter except for two: how to handle the constant pulls of my own biases and (more importantly) how I can make it as a paid reporter in a world where content is becoming less and less of a commodity.
It is those final two questions I hope to address in my final project by interviewing Lynn, Massachusetts-based media critic Bob “Moviebob” Chipman. Chipman has a number of online commentary series catering to movie and video game fans on the Escapist Network, as well as a personal blog which combine for an astounding number of hits every month.
Considering my concerns as I enter the working world, I hope to interview Chipman and learn how he has been able to make the internet work for him. As far as I can tell, he is exclusively a web presence but has been able to make a living by delving into the topics he feels strongest about and works to maintain his own point of view without giving in to “fanboyism,” the geek culture equivalent of bias.
Since much of his subject matter is for better or worse aimed at a younger audience but his online rants tend to aim for an older crowd, I want to learn how he balances these two audiences without dumbing down his material and more importantly how he handles his interactions with his rather volatile community online viewers.
In addition, I would like to learn how he became affiliated with the Escapist Network, what his role is in the long-term strategy of the website and get a first hand account of how to create such a strong online presence that keeps clicks coming in week after week.