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From the Tow Center: Research Indicates Video News Is Always Growing, Changing

TowCenterColumbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism is producing some important research on upcoming trends in online media, like news video, sensor journalism and longform.

Its most recently released report, “Video Now: The Form, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism,” highlights the video strategies of popular digitally native publishers like Mashable and NowThis News, longform outfits including Vice Media and Frontline PBS, and legacy papers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, over a five-month period. More than 50 newsrooms were examined during the research for this paper.

Study facilitator and assistant professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Duy Linh Tu set out to answer three main questions:

  • How do news organizations define video?
  • How do they produce video?
  • What is their return on investment? (ROI)

Now for what Linh Tu found: metrics across newsrooms aren’t very reliable. Typical measurements like plays and page views “are inconsistently measured across organizations,” so the report features mostly editor interviews rather than sheer numbers. The answer to digital video is that there is no answer — at least not now. Publishers are finding it difficult to capitalize on this new medium while bringing in the advertising support they need to produce quality content. In other words, there isn’t a ton of data out there on video ROI that inspires trust in marketers with limited budgets.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

Sigma Delta Chi Award Winners Announced

SDX_Awards13Yesterday, the winners of the SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi awards were announced. You can see a full list of the winners here.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Those of you feeling like Dasani was robbed for the Pulitzer will be happy to know that “Invisible Child” won for non-deadline reporting.
  • Overall, reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing scooped up awards not just for deadline reporting, but photography, too. Then, among all the tragedy, this photo won in the regional publication category.
  • No surprise: The Texas Tribune won for deadline reporting of the abortion filibuster. And CPI and ABC have another award to spar over for the reporting on black lung.
  • Of all the investigative and public service reporting in print, online, on the radio, and on television; NPR’s Planet Money podcast won for making a t-shirt.

Talk about your favorites in the comments or let us know what you think @10,000Words.

Vox.com Should Not Explain It All

voxlogo.jpgLike #slatepitches before it, the hype surrounding Ezra Kein’s endeavor, the focus on explaining it all, and the format of news cards — all good, interesting things — has basically set Vox.com up to be mocked.

When they’re talking about the Affordable Care Act or Ukraine, it all makes sense. When they start to explain Tinder? That’s where it starts to feel a little forced. It feels like some of the superfluous explainers, like the Game of Thrones recaps and maps, are good for social sharing and traffic, but not for their mission. If anything, they are distracting and sort of embarrassing, like when your mom used to write on your Facebook wall.

I know they want to cover everything and be the Wikipedia of news, but maybe they should stick to covering wonk. We can chart Nicholas Cage’s career over at Buzzfeed and talk about “hangry” over at The Atlantic. I know it doesn’t sound very innovative or new, but why don’t they stick to what they know? The card decks really work for that. Read more

Why Does a Mainstream Media Outlet Want a Share of this Non-profit Digital Site’s Pulitzer?

OK, the headline is a maybe over the top, but the sentiment isn’t. Why does a mainstream media TV news organization want a cut of a non-profit digital site’s Pulitzer?

cpi pulitzer announcementThe non-profit digital news site Center for Public Integrity was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize this week for its in-depth, dogged reporting on miners systematically denied medical care for black lung and related conditions. The top prize in journalism is a major feat for any news organization, much less a digital non-profit.

That would be where the happy story ends… except Poynter today is reporting on a project partner who’s less impressed with the award, not because it wasn’t deserved but because they felt like they deserved the credit too. The reporting was shared with the ABC News team, allowing the black lung project to reach a significantly wider audience. Read more

How to Pitch Your Personal Essay to Literary Magazines

Personal-Essay-Mrkt-Part-2-If you’re a writer eager to pitch your personal essay, check our latest Journalism Advice feature, which includes another 15 markets. See below for just one example. (And don’t forget to visit Part I in our Personal Essay Markets series.)

Literary magazines (see Hunger Mountain, The Threepenny Review, Tin House)
Are essays for literary magazines different from those for consumer mags? “It’s not that literary writing is ‘good’ and consumer magazine writing is ‘bad,’” said writer Alle C. Hall, a teacher at Richard Hugo House. “Consumer magazines are looking to get information to the reader, so the writing needs to be good, but it’s not everything. In a literary magazine, the writing is the whole point.”
Length: Typically 3,000-5,000 words, though a few take up to 10,000. There’s also a category called the short-short for pieces under 1,000 words, such as a Brevity.
Pay: A few literary magazines pay a flat fee for essays, such as The American Scholar ($500), but many pay in copies only. Most of the ones that do pay, such as
The Antioch Review and The Georgia Review, typically pay per printed page, and that can range from $1 a page to $50 a page.
Hall’s advice: “As everyone says, read the journals — but how, right? Follow two publications for a year, either online or through a subscription. If a writer can identify which publications make the most sense for his or her style and voice, the writer will spend far less energy on rejection.”

For more pitching advice, read: Personal Essay Markets, Part II.

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