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OMG! The Robo-Journo Has Arrived. It’s Going to Be OK.

robotEverybody take a deep breath. Robots are not journalists, and they aren’t going to take over the publishing industry. Or will they?

Since it came out that the L.A. Times used an algorithm to report on an earthquake, it seems that robots are going to take over all of journalism. There’s a good case for using technology like this: stories on sports, financial news, weather; probably half of the press releases about amazing new mobile apps I get, could probably be written with a code. There’s also a good case for why it’s still sort of uncharted territory that needs to be built upon and perfected.

And it’s prompted some  good questions: Who owns the copyright? Where and when would it be more efficient? If stories are generated using a code, does that change how humans interact with it? Does the code know ethics? Read more

MediaShift Launches EducationShift to Move Journalism Education Forward

PBS MediaShift recently announced the launch of EducationShift, a revamped site to help bolster journalism education.

edshift post picSupported by both the Knight Foundation and the Scripps College of Communication, the re-tooled Education Shift site will feature increased coverage of classroom innovation as journalism and communications schools around the world wrestle with unprecedented technological changes. Read more

Vidahlia Press, Pubsoft Partner Up for Prison Writing Contest

vidahlia press pic postDigital publishing software maker Pubsoft has teamed up with independent publisher Vidahlia Press to show that inmates can use their creativity for more than just making license plates.

Pubsoft, which is touting the partnership as its entry into the nonprofit sector, recently announced that its software will help promote a unique prison writing contest, dubbed INK, sponsored by Vidahlia Press. The contest, which will feature categories including Poetry, Fiction and Graphic Novel is open to anyone who has served time within the last year. Read more

Write for Passport‘s Tech-Savvy Gay Travelers

passport.article.2

Passport magazine has been a resource for affluent LGBT travelers since its inception in 2001. In the past 13 years, the pub has experienced huge growth and can even claim the title of first gay magazine to launch an iPad edition.

The pub is 80 percent freelance written and editors say they need writers who can tap into the specific needs of its globetrotting audience. Passport is a great place for those who enjoy long-form writing, as articles can run up to 3,500 words. As for topics:

The hallmark of the mag — the feature well — is a playground for creative angles on all things travel, but the particular focus is destinations. One story in the August 2013 issue took readers on an editorial journey à la a 10-day road trip through Florida, detailing stop-throughs in major cities, swamplands and legendary gay retreats. Another explored life in Saba, the Dutch municipality in the Caribbean where gay marriage is legal and a small LGBT community thrives.

Also worth noting: stories submitted for print may very well end up online as well, so freelancers are encouraged to pitch ideas that include photos and videos just for a little added multimedia panache.

For more on the pub, including details on the proper etiquette when sending in your submission, read: How To Pitch: Passport.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Slate Writer Amanda Hess Wins Sidney Award for Examining Online Sexism

Amanda Hess CoverIn her Sidney Award-winning essay last month in Pacific Standard: “The Next Civil Rights Issue: Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,” Slate staff writer Amanda Hess tackled yet another facet of cyber-bullying by focusing on the disproportionate abuse that female journalists endure online.

The Sidney Awards are given monthly by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, in recognition of outstanding socially-conscious journalism. Read more

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