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A Joan Didion Documentary Is in the Works

joandidionGriffin Dunne, nephew of famed journalist Joan Didion, launched a Kickstarter campaign today for a documentary of his aunt. Titled We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live after that memorable first line out of Didion’s The White Album, the film will be the first and only documentary made about the writer.

On its first day of funding, the Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed half of its $80,000 goal. Dunne is an Oscar-nominated director, and is partnering with director Susanne Rostock for the project. From their campaign page:

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Mediabistro Course

Book Promotion and Publicity Boot Camp

Book Promotion and Publicity Boot CampDevelop a plan for your book's success in our online boot camp, Book Promotion & Publicity! Starting November 3, publishing and publicity experts will teach you the best practices for a successful book launch using various promotional techniques. Register now!

Find a Home for Your Music Features and Essays at TheFader.com

Fader-articleIf music magazine Fader hasn’t worked with you in the past or isn’t familiar with your writing, the chances of making it onto its glossy, visually striking pages are slim.

However, if you have a really compelling, focused idea for a piece on an up-and-coming artist or the music industry itself, you’ll want to focus your energies on pitching to Fader‘s websiteFader is as committed to publishing what editor-in-chief Naomi Zeichner describes as “meaty features” online as it is in the magazine:

TheFader.com is where you’ll see the publication expanding its editorial territory to 500- to 1,500-word critical and personal essays and “big, reported features” that can run upwards of 2,500 words. Pieces focused on the business and tech sides of music can do well here.

For more, including how to craft a pitch the editors will notice, read: How To Pitch: The Fader.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

News Deeply Introduces Microsite Just For Ebola News

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 8.07.28 PMThink back on the last couple of weeks (or so), when the Ebola crisis really started to pervade all of our media sources. There has been sensationalism, misinformation and more sensationalism that has led to sheer ignorance, in some cases, plus unnecessary (if not illogical) panic. This is not to take away from the severity of the disease whatsoever, as it should be treated with delicacy; somehow, though, the virus and its victims have been so oversimplified because news organizations have not been careful in their approach.

For these reasons and more, Lara Setrakian of the news microsite network News Deeply has introduced Ebola Deeply, which Gigaom’s Mathew Ingram reports will cover both immediate impacts of the disease and longterm effects on society. Setrakian, whose Syria Deeply site has been quite effective in disseminating valuable information and reporting regarding the complicated situation in the Middle East, has a team of African freelancers contributing content and will aggregate wire stories on Ebola, too.

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Narratively Started Out As an Idea in Noah Rosenberg’s Notebook

Noah-Rosenberg-ArticleFor  Noah Rosenberg, the birth of long-form site Narratively came at the convergence of middle-of-the-night moments of inspired thought and a desire to explore the story left out of space-restricted newspaper pieces.

In just a little over two years, the award-winning site has amassed an army of talented contributors, who in turn have garnered attention from the likes of book publishers and movie producers. Rosenberg, as the site’s co-founder and chief executive officer, sits at the helm as the company is poised for an expansion. Rosenberg spoke with Mediabistro to discuss Narratively’s past and future, and what it took for Rosenberg to turn his idea into reality:

When I first came up with the idea for Narratively, or the very early idea, I hadn’t worked for any of the big-name outlets. But [eventually I started] working for The Wall Street Journal, and doing some work for GQ.com and a number of other big organizations. So I thought to myself, ‘Okay, I finally have some semblance of credibility, I have a great contact list, the media landscape is continuing to shift. People are consuming content on iPads now and they want more long-form, in-depth stuff, and if I don’t do this now I’m never going to do this.’

For more on Rosenberg, read: So What Do You Do, Noah Rosenberg, Founder, CEO and EIC of Narratively?

BBC Launches WhatsApp ‘Ebola Lifeline’ Service in West Africa

BBC-NewsThe BBC has launched a WhatsApp service in West Africa to spread information, news alerts, and provide what they’re calling a “lifeline” to people in the affected areas. It will be available in both English and French; you can access it at  +44 7702 348651.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service in Africa and while it’s the first time the BBC has used it to spread information on health news, it has used WhatsApp and other messaging services like BBM and WeChat in the past for breaking news alerts. In a statement, Director of the World Service Group Peter Horrocks said:

This outbreak of Ebola shows no signs of abating. Myths and misinformation about Ebola are still widespread – and life-threatening. The BBC is trusted by millions of people in the affected countries, so we are stepping up our efforts to reach people with timely information, whether they’re listening to the radio, watching TV or using chat apps. We’re committed to playing our part and will continue looking at new ways to reach audiences, for example by developing programmes in local vernacular languages.

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