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Grandparents.com Seeks Freelance Pitches on Modern Grandparenting

Grandparents.com is a site for the modern grandparent. Its readers are interested in traveling, staying healthy and, of course, finding fun things to do with the grandkids. After all, explains editor-in-chief Ellen Breslau, the average age of a grandparent today is only 52. So freelancers interested in pitching the site should steer clear of stories on hearing aids or assisted living.

Instead, Breslau says she wants “more health stories and smart takes on financial matters, such as estate planning or the best part-time jobs for baby boomers.” You should also note:

Articles typically average 500 words and include one to two expert sources. Slide shows are another popular format on the website and should be made up of quick, easily digestible tips. The tone is conversational — “as if your best friend or neighbor were speaking to you,” says Breslau.

For more details on what to pitch the site, read: How to Pitch: Grandparents.com.

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‘Bellingcat’ Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Unite Investigative Citizen Journalists

BellingcatCitizen journalism is more prevalent than ever with the upsurge in social media platforms. Now that so much information is available at our fingertips, it seems that reporters — both formally trained and novice — are even hungrier for accurate news.

A crowdfunding campaign by a man named Eliot Higgins has the goal of bringing together citizen journalists who are curious about hard news issues through an open-source website. His vision is for contributors all over the world to continue coverage of “Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Jihadists, Shia armed groups, the UK phone hacking scandal, police corruption, and more,” he wrote on Kickstarter.

Bellingcat, as he calls it, is based on the idea that citizen journalists have the power to do much of the investigation that traditional media outlets do. YouTube and Reddit are just two hugely important tools that anyone who values verification and getting to the bottom of a news story can use, and it’s totally open-sourced. Social media does the same thing, Higgins wrote on his Kickstarter page.

Read more

Friday Roundup: The Week in Journalism

huffpostAPtweet.jpgIf anyone complained about dog days of summer in the newsroom, this week you got what you wished for. Here are some highlights in all of the chaos that was the news this week:

1) You can’t win if you’re covering Gaza. John Stewart illustrated this best in a skit on Monday night. And the New York Observer called out the New York Times for what it thinks is biased coverage of recent events. The ‘paper of record’ doesn’t think it’s doing anything wrong. What about you? How have you been staying objective — or have you decided to ditch that effort?

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

2) A lot of us need to read slower and learn AP style. On Tuesday, the AP tweeted about a plane carrying the victims of flight MH17. AP style is “crash-landed,” anyway, but a lot of us journos need to slow down. It was like we were waiting to start a fight with them. Read more

Reddit Launches Live Blogging Platform

reddilive.jpgReddit has officially launched RedditLive, a new feature where anyone on the platform can create their own live blog via a subreddit. The feature has been in beta for a few months but now anyone can get at it and live blog at will.

Are we still in a place where this means journos will whine about professionalism, ethics, and recall the mob mentality surrounding some reddit threads and news events? Probably. If so, it’s probably time to shed the pretense. Reporting needs to be mobile, live, and transparent. RedditLive doesn’t have to be a publisher, though that’s technically what it is, but could be a really good source for you in the newsroom. Although, someone is live-blogging their midnight snack.

I think that reddit is sort of a self-cleaning machine. There’s a lot of noise over there, and that’s a good thing. When something is wrong or missing, people notice. It’s like the “eyes on the street” effect for the web. Read more

New Draft of SPJ’s Ethics Code Now Available

SPJDid you know that the Society of Professional Journalists is in the process of revising its Code of Ethics for the first time since 1996? I didn’t, but I learned it from The News Tribune‘s Karen Peterson, based in Tacoma, WA, over the weekend.

The code was discussed most recently by The Ethics Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists, and a final draft will be presented at the Excellence in Journalism event in early September.

Peterson is a member of the SPJ and noted that much of the journalism we see produced today dances on the ethics line — largely because of the technology we have at our disposal, that, of course, was way too far into the future to foresee in 1996.

She noted the following recommended addition to the code:

“Weigh the consequences of publishing personal information, including that from social media.”

Read more

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