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Everything You Haven’t Read About ‘Serial’

serialOn Thursday I wake up to a bunch of WhatsApp messages from my London-based friend. Turns out the career woes we Skyped about earlier in the week are moot — there’s a new episode of “Serial” to listen to.

I won’t go into what “Serial” is, because if you don’t know by now, where have you been? But will you be let down because of all the hype? No. If anything, you have around 8 hours to listen to. It will be like that one time you signed into Netflix and hit play on “Orange is the New Black.” See  you on Monday. As a radio junkie, I was waiting for “Serial,” I heard the teasers, I was ready for it. I didn’t know I would become obsessed or that I would be sending text messages across the Atlantic Ocean begging for no spoilers!

We posted this article from the Washington Post on our Facebook page, and Facebook notified us this morning that it’s been performing better than any of our other, original, posts this week. Thanks a lot guys. So I’m going to give you what you want on this frigid Friday morning. Read more

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Making Sense of Social Media Metrics in the Newsroom

social-media-1There are so many ways to use and track social media success in the newsroom; it can make your head spin. In a recent report on The Media Briefing, writer Chris Sutcliffe outlines how to make sense of all those numbers, and what some of the best social media editors in the industry do. The whole piece is worth a long, hard read, but here are some of the main points.

1. You need to decide on a story by story basis what you want to achieve via social media. Sarah Marshall, social media director for the Wall Street Journal says:

Are you wanting to achieve clickthroughs, or are you wanting to give people a service? Now if you’re properly doing your job best, you’re giving people a service, you’re telling people what’s going on in Kobani at the moment, or what Turkey’s position is, you’re essentially giving them a service but not requiring them to click through either on Facebook or Twitter. But then as a news organisation you don’t get the hits.”

2. Newsrooms need to focus on what kinds of stories do well on various platforms and go from there. Do you create content specifically for a platform? Maybe. Or it could even be as simple as changing the way you write the headline on Facebook as opposed to Twitter.

3. You can use reader response as a way to edit the story. As long as you’re updating and letting readers know you’re updating (and not just erasing your mistakes and sneaking off), you should gauge a story’s success and make it better. If people are going to be looking, you might want to change that featured image. Or link to more content internally. It’s also a way to know what interests people, leading to better follow-ups and additional content, an interactive map of election districts if a gerrymandering story is performing well, for example.

The whole point is to use social media and analyze it. How does your newsroom use metrics to change the workflow?

Vanessa Valenti on How a Lack of Profit United a Young Feminist Blog Network

Vanessa-Valenti-WParticleIt’s 2004 and Vanessa Valenti and her sister Jessica Valenti  turn to the Internet in an effort to expand the conversations around feminism they’d been having with each other. Problem is, there’s seemingly nothing for young feminists: no blogs, no forums, no speck of an online community anywhere. 

And in that fight-or-flight moment, they decide to start their own. As the site celebrates its 10th year, Feministing.com founder Vanessa Valenti recalls what it was like in the early days, especially as other sites for young feminists came on the scene:

I definitely never saw them as competition. It created this powerful feminist blog network supporting one another by linking to each other and featuring each other’s posts. Basically, within the network, we were influencing each other. Interestingly, a part of me feels like because of the fact that none of us were making money, we were kind of removed from competition.

For more, read: So What Do You Do, Vanessa Valenti, Co-founder of Feministing.com and Fresh Speakers?

The Economist Espresso Offers Bite-Sized Dose of Daily Global News

economistespressoAt the end of last week, weekly global news publication The Economist announced a new offering called The Economist Espresso. Designed to be a snapshot of the day’s most important news in business, politics and finance, the magazine is releasing the daily briefing via iPhone or Android smartphone apps.

As the mag’s editors wrote on their blog, the Espresso app is The Economist‘s first go at daily news in its 171-year history. They say reading the whole thing shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes in the morning and there are no links required to get the whole story. Editions for the Americas, Asia and Europe will be created by the pub’s editors each day.

Read more

Cutting Men’s Pay in the Newsroom to Give More to Women Is a Great Idea

This post is by Angela Washeck, Karen Fratti and Mona Zhang.

paygapWhat should newsroom leaders do if they inherit pay inequalities, but lack the budget to give raises? It’s certainly a difficult newsroom issue, and something that Poynter asked former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson about.

Abramson said:  “You bring the guys down to give a little more to the girls… I did that at The Times. No one’s happy to get a cut, but too bad.”

One of our contributors took issue with this, writing: “Cutting a journalist’s salary purely based on gender doesn’t seem quite fair either.”

While we can see why an underpaid journo may be unhappy with such an arrangement, some of us at 10,000 Words took issue with this view. Sure, cutting a journalist’s salary because he is male “doesn’t seem quite fair,” but getting paid less because of your gender is unfair.

Read more

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