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Jill Abramson, Steven Brill Back Long-Form Journalism Start-Up

jill abramson picA new start-up venture spearheaded by former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson and award-winning journalist/Court TV founder Steven Brill focusing on long-form journalism says it will advance writers around $100,000 to produce substantial, longer-than-magazine length articles, according to Poynter.

Abramson, who fleshed-out plans for the as-yet unnamed venture at a Journalism and Women’s Symposium last weekend in California, said the venture will feature one story per month and will be available by subscription.

Although Abramson did not elaborate on potential investors, she said that she and Brill “were very close” to a possible deal with a funder.

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Reynolds Business Journalism Center Offers Financial Fellowship Worth $1,500

Lily Wu, reporter for KAKE News in Kansas, was a 2014 Strictly Financials fellow.  Photo via businessjournalism.org

Lily Wu, reporter for KAKE News in Kansas, was a 2014 Strictly Financials fellow.
Photo via businessjournalism.org

Financial journalists take note, there is still time to apply for a Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism fellowship, worth $1,500 for a  three day course of intensive study in financials and corporate activities from Jan. 5 to 7, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The eighth annual Strictly Financials Seminar takes place during Reynolds Business Journalism Week at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The fellowship is limited to 12 professional U.S. journalists with at least two years of business journalism experience. Consideration will also be given to those recently assigned to beats covering financial topics. Read more

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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Hacks and Hackers New Executive Director is Planning for Growth

hackshackers post picFor the uninitiated, the Hacks and Hackers Network is an international, grassroots organization of journalists and technologists who use technology to visualize information and find and tell stories.

Since the group’s first meeting five years ago, in a bar in San Francisco, more than 80 communities worldwide now boast a Hacks and Hackers group.

In an effort to continue that growth, Jeanne Brooks, the group’s first-ever executive director, has come up with a plan to help the global journalism and technology group bolster its numbers as well as its impact.

Brooks, who is supported by a 2014-2015 fellowship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, wrote on her blog, “At the outset, my aim is to create a roadmap for not only sustainability but for scaling the impact of the network.”

She added that while a global network of volunteer leaders has helped grow the movement, using various methods to organize and nurture local communities, a more comprehensive strategy is now needed to encourage new growth. Read more

New York Times Steps Up Political News Presence

New-York-Times-Logo1Today the Grey Lady launched a politics-themed email newsletter and micro-site underneath the Times‘ main site called First Draft.

First Draft is a piggyback on Washington-centric blog The Caucus, which hasn’t seen much consistent action. As the Times‘ Carl Hulse told the Huffington Post, the new site will house an ongoing political dialogue, written in a similar voice as the paper’s NYT Now app’s morning and evening briefings. Additionally, First Draft will feature both original scoops (that may be developed into full stories for the newspaper later on) as well as aggregated content.

So far, the blog features pull quotes from political figures, videos and even a curated Instagram photo of Cory Booker. Content runs the gamut, as events dictate coverage, though it is definitely an informal take on a sometimes dry topic. As HuffPo’s Michael Calderone wrote: “The Times plans to update First Draft frequently, with hopes that political news junkies will return throughout the day.”

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