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Archives: December 2013

Ringing in 2014: 10 Wishes For the Journalism Industry

2014 New Years Card2013 was quite the eventful year for journalists. Our Karen Fratti touched on these a bit earlier this week here. New Year’s resolutions are great and all, but I’ve been thinking of some general wishes I have for the journalism industry in 2014.

  1. Hoping that following journalism commentary becomes cooler. American Journalism Review quit publishing its print magazine this year (and had a very respectable comeback on the Web in December), but I’m still hoping that more of us will start making it a daily habit to read up on what AJR, CJR and the others are reporting about the state of the news media.
  2. Hoping that the longform renaissance continues. Whether it means paying $1.99 for one well-reported story, membership drives, monthly subscriptions or purchasing short e-books, let’s keep this going in 2014.
  3. Hoping to see more niche journalism. A digital wine magazine for all you sommeliers. Journalism exclusively about the South. We need more of these specialty interest publications, and with the Web, it’s easier to congregate around the unique topics we care about.
  4. Hoping to observe more publishers integrating informative, beautiful interactive components alongside their reporting. I loved what Al Jazeera America did with their Hurricane Sandy remembrance this year. And who doesn’t want to see more “Snowfall”s and “Tomato Can Blues”-y pieces?
  5. Hoping to see less native advertising. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
  6. Hoping to notice an uptick in livestreaming for news organizations. The Texas Tribune really put themselves on the map with their live coverage of the Wendy Davis filibuster. I’d love to see more of this valuable commodity in the coming election year.
  7. Hoping for less iPhone photography and a resurge in trained, talented photogs in the newsroom. The Chicago Sun-Times photography layoffs were brutal, holding lots of powerful implications about how much (or little) newsrooms value visual literacy and the art of a beautiful photograph. For this year, I hope to see fewer iPhone photos in the newspaper (this doesn’t count relatively routine news briefs), whether online or in print.
  8. Hoping for a smarter way of handling comments. Still trying to figure out whether they suck all the fun out of reading Web journalism or not. Leaning toward a resounding yes, but that could change tomorrow. Should we take anonymity away, or just scrap the people’s opportunity to chime in? Maybe we’ll nail it down in 2014.
  9. Hoping to see more unique means of storytelling emerge, like Brickflow or Storify. We keep hearing how much more we’re stimulated by visuals. We need more tools like the content block-building Brickflow to help relay coherent narratives using social media.
  10. Hoping that we develop more solutions for properly compensating interns. ProPublica got creative this year, taking to Kickstarter to fund an internship for a brave young journalist who would embark on a 16-week watchdog reporting trip, all to uncover truths about the intern economy in America. I’d love to see more of these kinds of reporting efforts, as well as creative ways to pay hard-working interns.

What are your journalism industry wishes for the new year? Predictions for 2014? Tweet us @10000Words or share in the comments!

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How Will Journos Remember 2013?

hourglass1This year will be remembered for many things in the media world other than twerking. It was the year of the listicle. The year of the internet hoax making headlines. And, in my mind, the year that we came to terms with native advertising.

Last year, when I started writing for this blog, one of my first posts covered the Atlantic’s Scientology advertising debacle. Time moves so fast, we could almost call it the classic native advertising misstep.

As the year comes to a close, Sharethrough, a leading native content distribution firm, released a report that shows that most native campaigns don’t really go viral. And isn’t that supposed to be the point?

Of course, this doesn’t have to mean anything.  Along with coming to terms about how publishers can many money on the web, another standout feature of the media industry this year is a little rationalism. In the efforts to stay up on the Twitter rat race, I find fellow journos and media thinkers to be a little calmer than they were last year. Maybe that’s because we all fell for viral hoaxes, or are eating our words about Buzzfeed. If anything, here’s to learning from our 2013 mistakes in 2014.

What’s your favorite 2013 highlight? Tweet us @10000Words or share in the comments!


Uncertain Future for AOL’s Patch

hyperlocal picBy now, most media pundits and journalism wonks have all but concluded their somewhat premature postmortems on what exactly went wrong at Patch, AOL’s network of local news and information sites.

Although the company’s problems had been mounting for several years, the combination of major layoffs and a recent story in the New York Times that led many to believe Patch was “winding down,” served to put the already embattled company squarely in the media’s cross-hairs. Read more

It’s the Day After Christmas. Do You Know Where Your Reporters Are?

emptynewsroomI don’t know about you, but my morning media diet has been rather unsatisfactory: my favorite call-in news program is an edited compilation of repeats and the only, truly urgent item in my inbox is a marketing email from a retailer, reminding me of a looming midnight deadline to receive up to 40% off of select sale items. It seems that no matter your personal preference or tradition, you are destined to slow news days and Best of Slideshows until the proverbial “after the holidays.”

Some of you are actually working, in empty newsrooms:


And taking advantage of  leftover ‘pity food’ from the higher ups:

Read more

Get Your Foot Out Of Your Mouth

twitter logoIt’s amazing that it’s almost 2014 and people are still getting fired for saying horrible, no good things on social media. Haven’t we learned that what you say can and will get you in trouble?

Whether it’s Duck Dynasty’s patriach or IAC’s “accidental racist” Justine Sacco, people still aren’t learning that words have consequences. Over at On the Media’s TLDR Blog, PJ Vogt points out that Sacco, for example, had a long history of making bad jokes, and it’s surprising that she hadn’t come to the internet’s attention before. I agree. And what’s interesting isn’t that she hadn’t been in trouble before, or that shows and jobs can be lost, but that some people are still outraged or confused as to why media companies — or any company, for that matter — can take action against you for your words.

Be careful what you tweet, reporters. What might get a smirk or a laugh in the newsroom is destined to be spread around the internet if it rubs someone the wrong way. Quarrels among copy editors shouldn’t be taken to Twitter. You don’t have to be a bigot or a jerk, either. An unpopular opinion with a link to a story could do it, too.

I think Jay Rosen put it best: