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Posts Tagged ‘ire’

Still Making Summer Plans? Deadline Nears For Google’s Journalism Fellowship

It’s the time of year when young journalists start hearing back about their internship applications or perhaps getting worried if they haven’t heard back yet.

googleIf you haven’t already received and accepted an offer and made your summer plans, you still have some time to apply for one of the coolest opportunities available this summer: the Google Journalism Fellowship. But not much time — the deadline is this week.

This isn’t your typical summer internship, though. It’s something more immersive, more data-centric and, honestly, sounds more fun. They’re looking for journalism students who have already demonstrated proficiency and interest in digital projects and technologies, but the desired skills and interests are pretty reasonable for j-school students these days. Here’s how they describe the gig:

The program is aimed at undergraduate, graduate and journalism students interested in using technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways. The Fellows will get the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to a variety of organizations — from those that are steeped in investigative journalism to those working for press freedom around the world and to those that are helping the industry figure out its future in the digital age. There will be a focus on data driven journalism, online free expression and rethinking the business of journalism.

And they will pay the fellows $8,000 (plus a travel stipend) for 10 weeks, from June through August, to work at one of these journalism organizations:

  • Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Investigative Reporters & Editors
  • Nieman Journalism Lab
  • Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project
  • Poynter
  • PRI.org
  • ProPublica
  • Sunlight Foundation
  • Texas Tribune

This application is due Friday, January 31… So, um, why are you wasting time?! Apply here.

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How to Achieve These 3 New Year’s Resolutions For Journalists

Thinking ahead a month might seem like an eternity for many journalists in the thick of holiday stories and planning for vacations. But before you hang up your hat on 2013, you should make a plan for how you’ll do better in 2014.

journalismresolutionsWant to be a better journalist? Here are three professional New Year’s resolutions you can make — and keep — for next year, and how to do it.

1. Learn something new

Yeah yeah, this is sort of what journalists do every day for their research. But when was the last time you sat down and took a class, attended a professional conference or just read a book related to your craft? In a world that’s constantly demanding new skills, you’ll soon be irrelevant if you don’t keep up on the trade. Here’s a few ideas on how to do it: Read more

How To Survive The Summer News Drought: 5 Places To Find Story Ideas Online

Summer is notoriously slow for news. Sure, breaking news and summer festivals will eat up some of the local newshole. But schools are out. Sources (and colleagues) are on vacation. Elections are still months away. And you can only write so much about the weather before you and your readers give up caring or tracking how little rain or how much sunshine your has community received.

Even though important work still takes place and is worth reporting as it happens in the summer months, it’s a good idea to have some story ideas in your back pocket to get you through the news drought. Think of it as insurance against being the reporter handed the next weather story. The editor will hesitate if you can say, “Oh, well actually I was working on (or planning to work on) that story about X-awesome-idea…”

So as you craft your summer story budget, here are five places to watch for tips and good story examples that may inspire your own pieces:
Read more

Who Should Journalists Follow On Twitter?

When I was in college, we didn’t have Twitter*. But if I had, there are plenty of accounts I would have followed closely — and they would have extended far beyond my own social circle. I’d have included all of the accounts USA Today picked for its round-up of Nine Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow and hundreds more.

who should journalists follow?Their list is a round-up of journo-talking heads, news organizations and organizations devoted to journalism. The paper’s quick-hit list notes, “The folks below… may not be ‘masters’ of the craft, but they do have their fingers on the pulse of modern journalism. Following them should help you raise your Twitter game significantly.” Among those who made their cut:

Instead of focusing on specific accounts, I wanted to outline the TYPES of accounts journalists (students, professionals and aspiring professionals) should be following.

They include:

NICAR roundup of data journalism ideas

For those who don’t know, or haven’t seen the flurry of #NICAR12 tweets this past week/end, the best minds in data journalism met in St. Louis for the annual CAR conference put on by IRE and its National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

Between the hashtag and the official blog, you’ll get a good overview of initial impressions and topics covered — from avoiding data dumps in stories to harvesting trends from social media. Chrys Wu, again this year, has done a fabulous job rounding up the multitude of presentations at NICAR.

Here are five of my favorite topics, but I encourage you to bookmark Wu’s page and peruse them all, because there are some awesome ideas and tips there:

  • Human Assisted Reporting — This slideshow presents an “aha idea” that I can’t believe I never thought of: automating tasks beat reporters do regularly with data, and then programming your computer to do simple data analysis automatically. My favorite easy example of this was mining the daily police blotter for trends or keywords (who has the highest bail and what is the bail/the crime? any nurses, teachers, ministers, etc. arrested?)
  • Weathering the Storm: Using data to bolster the traditional weather story — Maybe it’s the nearly four years I spent working as a news reporter at a mid-sized paper and the dozens of weather stories I was forced to work on, but I believe there’s a special place in journo-heaven for anyone who can turn the most over-used story topic into something new and interesting for readers/watchers/listeners. Here’s your ticket to attempting just that.
  • Advanced Excel Tips — Excel is pretty much the program I use the most, and most heavily, on my work computer, after Firefox of course. So this tipsheet from the St. Paul Pioneer Press’s MaryJo Webster is not only a good refresher on bits I know well, but it also includes some great tips on doing things I haven’t quite mastered. From date functions to string functions, this is a solid list that I’ll be saving for future reference, and you should too.
  • How to use election data (and other good stuff to know) — This is actually a round-up from John Keefe of his four presentations, including one on election night and maps and election data without databases. He also covers other interesting topics, including everything you need to know about APIs, using Google Spreadsheets as your backend CMS, and hacking the Census data.
  • Build your first news app with Django — Their first step-by-step tutorial is how to build an interactive poll, with some other getting started resources.

There are many other topics covered, including on some of these same topics, as well as new tools to use and some examples of investigative data journalism at work. What was your favorite element of NICAR this year?