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Archives: April 2014

What Is A Social Journalism Degree? CUNY Is Trying to Answer That Question

CMC-CUNY-Logo3In the endless discussion on the value of a journalism degree, the question, “Are we teaching young journalists the right things the right ways?” always seems to surface. And as the digital revolution rolls on, creating curriculum that will be newsroom-relevant by the time students finish their degrees becomes complicated.

But the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism has a fresh new idea for teaching journalism in their new degree plan — an MA in Social Journalism. As media blogger and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis wrote over at Medium, the degree is based on the idea that journalism shouldn’t be about providing content; it should be about providing a service. (He has been developing this concept for a while; he first introduced it on his blog BuzzMachine).

On top of CUNY’s core MA in Journalism and MA in Entrepreneurial Journalism tracks, the degree plan, if approved by the university and the state of New York, would teach students how to tap into a community’s heartbeat, movers and shakers and produce reporting and content based on what they learn.

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Finally, Viral Content That’s Actually Funny: The Onion To Launch

Watch out Upworthy, BuzzFeed and the other bazillion viral content producers who rely on visitors falling into the rabbit hole of clicking link after viral link on their website. There’s soon to be a new, funnier kid on the block who’s going after your audience by poking fun at you…

(Screen capture from

(Screen capture from

Parody news site The Onion, which already garners robust traffic by playing off newspaper and TV news story stereotypes, announced this week it will set its sights on stealing some of the click love with a parody site of the viral content farms.

The new site,, will launch in June. Don’t worry though if you can’t wait that long, there’s already a fun infographicesque tutorial up on the homepage where you can practice your clicking skills. Plus, the name is such a perfect parody of such sites that it’s hard to believe that domain was even available.

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What Wants in a Personal Essay

PersonalEssaysIV-ArticleIn the fourth and final installment of our Personal Essay Markets series, we’re covering all things digital.

We spoke with editors from 15 online outlets to learn what they’re looking for in a personal essay. Here, a editor shares her advice:

An online magazine for a new generation of parents, Babble runs personal essays related to various stages of child rearing (pregnancy, baby, toddler, preschooler, etc.). New writers should pitch their essay, or a fleshed-out outline, on spec. Please note that Babble only pays for pieces that have not been previously published, including on your own blog.
Length: 750-1,200
Pay: Varies; $100 for personal essays; $500+ for bigger pieces
Assigning editor: Jamie Menaker, JAMIE dot MENAKER at DISNEY dot COM
Editors’ advice: ”Since most content is produced in house, we’re very selective in choosing what to commission. We look for personal essays that add a unique perspective to Babble and that have not previously been covered on the site. We are also willing to pay more for parenting trend and service pieces that involve research and reporting.”

To hear from the editors of Salon, Narratively and more, read: Personal Essay Markets, Part IV.

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Facebook’s “Newswire” Is Made Possible By Storyful

fb-newswire_news11Facebook and publishers have a love-hate relationship, in general. Sometimes the social network is great for directing traffic back to publishers’ websites, while at the same time, Mark Zuckerberg and company are competing for some of the same ad dollars that pubs want.

This time around, Facebook wants to help journalists discover verified, newsworthy content to aid in their reporting.

April 24, Facebook’s Director of News and Global Media Partnerships Andy Mitchell announced FB Newswire, “a resource that will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce.”

They’re taking on this venture with Storyful, a social media news operation that is already quite useful for reporters breaking news in real-time. Storyful has a strong team in place that verifies social posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks by geolocation and diligent sourcing, and then communicates the verified information to newsrooms via an API or a dashboard. Really, Storyful is doing all the work here, but this is a wise step for Facebook, which clearly wants to appeal to media organizations.

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Columbia Daily Spectator Might Cut Back on Print Newspaper

The Columbia Daily Spectator  has been printing since 1877.

The Columbia Daily Spectator has been printing since 1877.

The Columbia Daily Spectator may become the first Ivy League university to do away with a daily, student-run print newspaper.

Based in the Harlem Morningside Heights neighborhood, the staff of the Spectator, established in 1877, says it plans to cut back to weekly papers. Editor-in-chief Abby Abrams told Capital New York‘s Peter Sterne that the new printing schedule would “allow all our writers and editors to produce the best content possible.”

Although the decision must be officially approved by the Spec‘s 11-member board, it can’t be argued that the paper’s print product lost money for the first time this year. Still, despite the well-known difficulties print publishers have with generating revenue, Abrams told Capital that reducing print output isn’t based on desperation.

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