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Archives: October 2013

How to Get a Publication to Pay You Without Going to Small Claims Court

chess-knightsThis week we wrote about how journalists should be paid in the digital environment. Journalists being paid is a hot issue, especially since a lot of times, we’re asked to write for free or for exposure. That, too, is a loaded issue — sometimes it might be worth it, or it never, ever is.

And sometimes, we agree to do work for payment and never receive it. This is a classic freelancer dilemma and while most of you are, hopefully, sitting in newsrooms with a salary and benefits package and paid sick days, you never know when the shoe is going to drop and you need to pick up some work. Or, as is common in the digital environment, your contract allows you to write other sites every now and again, as long as you’re not competing with yourself.

Recently, I made a rookie mistake by taking on work for a start-up magazine. The work kept coming and the pay was in line with my experience and time. I won’t disclose the name of the publication (just to say it wasn’t this one), since the affair is — almost — concluded. But I did learn some lessons. Not about how to prevent this from happening again — there were contracts and tax information and all the legalese you can dream up.

So, short of a lawyer, who wouldn’t have been worth the sort-of small change I was owed,  and one step away from small claims court, here’s how I won my war.

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On the Media Asks Listeners to ‘Be the Journalist’ With Web Tool

otmOn The Media, the NPR podcast, is part media reporting, part commentary and part investigative journalism organization. And I’m not just saying that because the pledge drive is going on.

Sometimes they just fall into it. A few weeks ago, OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman and her family were detained “for hours” at the US- Canadian border. She produced a piece about the ordeal that you can listen to here. On the most recent show, they followed up with more questions for the Department of Homeland Security — questions that are still unanswered.

So, OTM produced an online tool for listeners to contact their representatives on the relevant oversight committees and “shed light on the DHS.” There are supplied questions and fields to use to report back directly to OTM. You can see, and use, the tool below.

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Al Jazeera America’s Sandy Interactive is Smart and Poignant

sandymapAfter seeing talk of this Superstorm Sandy interactive about a week ago, I’m just now getting around to taking a close look at it. Basically, Al Jazeera America’s (AJA) Jared Keller and Dominica Lim created an interactive map inviting anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy to tell their stories using text, photo and video. This is one way AJA plans to recognize the devastating storm’s first anniversary and offer context as part of its continuing Sandy coverage.

“With the anniversary of Sandy approaching, we’re inviting Al Jazeera America audience to share memories of the experience — moments of shock, fear, companionship, inspiration, resiliency — that remain with us today,” Keller and Lim wrote.

Readers can email Keller, fill out a form on AJA’s site or tweet their stories and photos with the hashtag #SandyStories to be considered for publication. As the submissions roll in, AJA has been plotting the map with stories represented by dozens of people impacted by the storm along the Eastern seaboard. The interactive is emotionally powerful, but also an astute move by AJA.

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How Should Journalists Be Paid in The Digital Age?

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Journalism is in a state of flux. Traditional newspapers are in decline, Millennial-centric sites like BuzzFeed are actually making a profit and sponsored content is now the norm.

Writer compensation is constantly evolving, too. What’s a fair salary for a digital journalist these days? There are plenty of payment methods out there. Gawker famously tried the pay-per-pageview model. Writers went overboard with galleries and articles on celebrity sex scandals, and realizing that pageviews were too easy to inflate, the experiment ultimately ended. They now base their goals on unique visitors attracted. Other sites, like Complex, pay their writers based on overall percentage of company revenue, among other metrics.

10,000 Words recently spoke (via email) to Coates Batemanthe executive director of digital programming strategy at Forbes Media, about the conundrum of how to pay digital journalists. The first thing Bateman told us was that Forbes has never used the pay-per-pageview model. What asked what he thought of this type of payment, he replied: ”We cannot speak for others. Our model is about individual experts building audiences and communities around their knowledge. That is why we choose to compensate based on unique visitors.”

The assumption that basic journalistic standards go out the window when clickability is king isn’t necessarily true, Bateman says. Read more

Mediabistro Launches GPlusData Pro For Google Plus Analytics

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Mediabistro announced that its GPlusData.com website, the leading provider of Google Plus analytics data to thousands of users, has launched a paid subscription service offering even more comprehensive statistics on Google Plus profiles.

GPlusData Pro is the in-depth analytics subscription that lets marketers, advertisers, and social media professionals gain insights into their audience and those of their competitors to optimize their activity and see their results. A GPlusData Pro subscription includes:

  • Tracking up to 10 Google+ users or pages
  • Demographic data: country, relationship and gender distribution
  • Post engagement by hour, day or day of the week
  • Most influential followers and who doesn’t follow you back
  • Download and print your tracked pages reports
  • Monthly newsletter with new feature updates and more!

Visit GPlusData.com for Google Plus information, statistics and trends.

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