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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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Mediabistro Course

Children's Book Writing and Illustrating

Children's Book Writing and IllustratingStarting October 22, work with a published children's author to complete a picture book ready to send to publishers! Jacquie Hann will help you to focus your ideas and build your story, create an illustration portfolio ready to present to art directors, and successfully navigate the process of publishing a children's book. Register now!

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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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.

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

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