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reporting

Apply for the Matter International Reporting Fellowship

matterreportingfellowshipMatter announced that applications are open for their reporting fellowship today. The magazine, which was bought by Medium in 2013, will award $10,000 to a journalist or team of journos who will:

Investigate and report a narrative feature on an issue of global importance—or local stories of global interest. We’re open to a broad range of topics and interests, though we’re looking for stories that are provocative, timely, and idea-driven. It’s our mission to take big swings at big issues, and this story should reflect that.

It won’t be easy to get it, though, so beware. You need three writing samples and a pitch for a story that you’ll write as a Matter “Draft.” They’ll publish all the drafts here and then they’ll pick the Top Seven. They’ll be completely public and Medium/Matter readers will be able to vote on them. There will be a week of voting, and then the number of ‘recommends’ will be tallied to determine a winner.

So make sure your idea and story and writing is shareable, well-thought out, and ready to be reported. The deadline for submissions is November 1st.

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingTell and sell the story of your life! Starting September 17, Wendy Dale, a published memoir writer, will help you to create your story arc around a marketable premise. You'll receive feedback on each of your assignments and benefit from personalized time with Wendy, to develop a plan for approaching literary agents and publishing houses with your manuscript. Register now!

Uncertain Future for NY Times Reporter Protecting Confidential Source

New York Times reporter James Risen

New York Times reporter James Risen, photo via Alex Menendez, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

It’s been more than three months since the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from Pulitzer-winning New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, who continues to face the looming threat of jail over his refusal to reveal a confidential source.

Back in June, the Supreme Court basically sided with the government by turning down Risen’s appeal related to a case whereby prosecutors are attempting to secure evidence in what they say is a national security prosecution.

In turn, journalists contend the government is infringing upon Risen’s press freedom by demanding he turn over a confidential source from a chapter in his 2006 book, State of War. Read more

Grading the Media on Ferguson Coverage

Now that the Ferguson protests are slowly beginning to wind down, it’s likely a good time to assess how the media handled the coverage of the recent unrest, triggered by the police shooting of unarmed teen, Michael Brown.

From the coverage I’ve seen myself, I would have to grade the media a C to C-, mainly for coverage that I thought was uneven, at best, with some national reporters even crossing journalistic lines to become advocates, rather than unbiased, objective third-parties. Read more

Journalism Under Attack

journalist post picMost journalists can agree that the profession has for years now been under financial attack by way of newsroom layoffs, the decline of newspapers/ad revenues and media consolidation, among other factors.

But now, both around the world and across the nation, journalists have been coming under increasing physical attack from a combination of hostile governments, overly militarized police forces and international terror organizations. Read more

How Should Publishers Assign Value to Writers?

SIAmong all the highly complicated questions media companies are grappling with, Time Inc. is still in a seriously unique transitional period. But when Gawker reported that the publisher — more specifically, Sports Illustrated magazine — scores its editorial writers based on how much they benefit the respective magazine’s advertiser relationships, it was a bit hard for me to feel sorry for them.

To be fair, that’s not the only thing they’re applying a numerical value to. “Quality of Writing,” “Impact of Stories/Newsworthiness,” “Productivity/Tenacity,” “Audience/Traffic,” “Video,” “Social” and “Enthusiasm/Approach to Work” are all categories that appear on the writers’ scorecards. But “Produces content that [is] beneficial to advertiser relationship” is still there.

Wrote Gawker watchdog reporter Hamilton Nolan:

“(Time Inc. provided this document to the Newspaper Guild, which represents some of their employees, and the union provided it to us.)  These editorial employees were all ranked in this way, with their scores ranging from 2 to 10.”

TimeInc Read more

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