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Archives: July 2012

Opportunity: Share Talent with Newsrooms, Share Code with Everyone

Here’s a PSA-of-sorts if you (or your friends) love journalism and have a technical background, too: less than two weeks are left to apply for the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellowships.

A Knight-Mozilla Fellowship offers a pretty unique experience to a developer, according to Dan Sinker, Director of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews. Those selected this year (the program’s second year) will be plugged into a newsroom to solve problems, and they also receive a combination of paid compensation and benefits—a nice package on its own. But they also will share their code — and experiences — in the open, with hopes that the experiences and knowledge reaches beyond the fellows to a greater community. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting November 4, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by an experienced travel writing contributor, Jimmy Im will teach you how to explore the different travel niches and decide which platform is best for you, write engaging pitch letters, and develop a better understanding of the travel industry. Register now!

5 Tweet Strategies for Highlighting Breaking News

Social media producers battle for eyeballs, retweets and clicks. They fight because tweets fly by fast, easily slipping by readers in a stream shared with cat gifs and @KimKierkegaard.

News tweeting’s permanent battlefield fixtures – tweet volume, frequency and serendipity – can always provide challenge. The combo deals a particular blow, however, when your latest tweet contains your big, hot breaking story.

What’s the best way to get followers to notice and click your link when big news hits? Should you break out the “BREAKING”? Should you stick with just “Breaking”? Or should you drop the chyron-bred word and bank on content sparking the spread?

Here are five distinct ways newsrooms on Twitter highlight breaking news, along with some questions to consider before adopting (or adapting) a new strategy for your own. Read more

5 Olympics 2012 News Projects

It’s opening ceremony day for the 2012 Olympics in London and Olympics projects from around the world are popping up as a way to track the events and records. Here’s a sampling.

1. The Guardian: Was an Olympic record set today?

This painfully simple — but absolutely brilliant — app from The Guardian tells you whether an Olympic record was set today. You get a big “YES” or “NO” and you can scroll through past days to see whether one was set and the results for it. Simple. But useful. And a lot of fun. I also love the typography and the fact that it’s a standalone app with its own, easy-to-remember URL: wasanolympicrecordsettoday.com Read more

Congressman Asks SOPA Opponents to Help Draft Mobile Privacy Law

Reddit, one of the main leaders in the anti-SOPA blackout, has become the go-to place for one lawmaker. Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia has turned to the Reddit community for input on how to create mobile privacy legislation. He announced his AppRights.us initiative on Reddit yesterday, saying, “It’s an open, bottom-up approach to drafting legislation that will protect the privacy of mobile device users.” Hoping to engage the technology community after the SOPA/PIPA debacle, Johnson is inviting netizens to share their thoughts on the AppRights website and through discussion on Reddit. Read more

Why should developers work in the newsroom? NYT and ProPublica coders explain

Newsrooms can be stressful places, full of strong personalities, short deadlines and an insatiable news hole. For reporters and editors, they’re stressful for another reason: The on-going uncertainty of when the fun may end and their ride on the journalism merry-go-round will stop while they join the queue of former journalists vying for fewer and fewer news jobs.

Meanwhile, software developers can often have their pick of locations and a plethora of job opportunities to go after. Their skills are in demand in many industries. So why should they bother to take their talents to a corner of the development industry where so often the “developing story” is about its own struggles or layoffs?

Besides the obvious — we need help to make cool news apps to compliment and help build on our stories! — Dan Sinker at PBS MediaShift Idea Lab tracked down six developers working in the news business to get their take on why they wanted to code in the newsroom.

It turns out they’re drawn for similar reasons as the writers and editors: the unpredictable, deadline-driven development atmosphere is fun, and there’s the opportunity to help tell the story and make news and data more meaningful.

Read more

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