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How ProPublica Used Kickstarter to Fund a Reporting Internship

Investigative news site ProPublica took to Kickstarter in May to fund an internship to conduct watchdog reporting on the intern economy in America, and they’ve successfully raised the money they need to proceed.

The nonprofit newsroom says it started the campaign with a question: “What’s your internship story?” and relied on crowdfunding and a loyal readership base to fund their internship. Over a 30-day period, ProPublica received nearly $24,000 for a 16-week fall internship, and the job will entail traveling across the country to college campuses, investigating some of these questions:

Who benefits most from these internships? What protections exist for interns who encounter discrimination or harassment? Are interns being fairly compensated? 

Backers on the site could make contributions from $5 to $10,000, with $500 toward the campaign buying you a pizza party at ProPublica’s NYC offices (still can’t believe no one took them up on that offer). The Knight Foundation got behind the idea, too, and will donate $5,000 toward funding the internship-reporting intern.

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Vibe‘s Jermaine Hall: ‘Being editor-in-chief is a lot of schmoozing’

In the same year that music mags Blender and Giant folded, Vibe shuttered, as well. But, luckily for the iconic mag, it was snapped up by a private equity firm, and editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall was brought on to resurrect the pub. And resurrect it, he did.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Hall explains how the mag is winning again and explains why editors-in-chief need to be more than just good writers.

“A lot of things that come with being editor-in-chief aren’t necessarily drilled down into the day-to-day tasks. It’s a lot of schmoozing; it’s a lot of fixing relationships; it’s a lot of bartering; it’s a lot of people skills,” he said. “It’s really going out there to be the ambassador of the brand on all levels. And that doesn’t necessarily come from being the strongest writer, it just really comes from people skills and the contacts and the relationships there that you’ve been able to build over your career. So, I think it’s knowing that it’s more than just writing and more than just editing at this level.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, Jermaine Hall, Editor-in-Chief of Vibe?

How to Land a Journalism Fellowship

Scoring a fellowship can not only boost a journo’s career, but provide valuable resources to carry out a project in this cash-strapped industry. From year-long stints at Ivy League schools to short-term projects, there are many options for those looking to enhance their skills. In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran journalists and fellowship directors give tips on what you can do to make your application stand out. Here’s an excerpt:

Come up with a doable project.

Some projects sound great but are far too ambitious, dangerous or simply not feasible to pull off within the confines of a fellowship program.

“Sometimes people have this idea that if they just come to Stanford there’ll be computer science geeks falling over to work on their project, but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Jim Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight journalism fellowship program at Stanford. “You have to show in your application that you have the skills to do what you’re proposing and that you are the right person to carry it out.”

For more, read 6 Tips for Landing Journalism Fellowships. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

WSJ‘s iPad Editor Tells How to Get a Job Like His

The rise of new media may be a bane for the print medium, but it certainly is a boon for the more tech-inclined. David Ho, editor of mobile, tablets and emerging technology at The Wall Street Journal is one of those folks.

He helped develop the WSJ‘s iPad app, one of the first from a major newspaper. But he also has some serious journalism chops: Ho has covered national consumer affairs for the AP and reported on telecom and terrorism for Cox Newspapers. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series, he gives advice to aspiring mobile editors and tells how news orgs should approach new technology.

“A lot of news skills only come with experience. I love it when folks can do Photoshop and the like, but more than any one kind of expertise, it’s important to have a general and deep technology comfort level and interest. This is all moving so fast, you have to adapt daily, hourly. It’s as much about making news decisions as it is troubleshooting tech problems. You need to be able to talk to developers as much as you talk to reporters and editors. You need a foot in each world, editorial and technology.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, David Ho, Mobile and Tablets Editor at The Wall Street Journal?

Create A Quick Journalism Portfolio With Contently

If you’re a journalist without an online profile, your excuses for not having one yet probably start with lack of time or web design talent, and include a slew of legitimate roadblocks including not knowing what to include or how to present it, not having extra cash to buy or host your own domain, or not knowing how to promote it once it exists.

Put the excuses behind you because Contently‘s got a new (well no longer invite only, as we initially wrote about awhile ago) and ridiculously simple way to create a portfolio. It removes at least 90 percent of those “reasons” why you don’t already have one. It’s free and it only takes a few minutes to put together an automatically built portfolio. So whether you’re job hunting, or just want to make sure your work is easy to find, you should look into Contently’s new PORTFOLIO+.
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