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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Why Listicles Are Here to Stay

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Listicles, or articles in list form, have been around for decades. Traditional magazines like Cosmopolitan have had them on their cover for years (aka: “10 Sexiest Things To Do With Your Man Tonight!”)

But the resurgence of the listicle online really found its home on BuzzFeed. The news aggregator and youth-centric site is the most famous example of the listicle done right. Peruse the site and you will find thousands of lists on any subject you can think of. Most are humorous, some are enraging, others, uplifting. Take ”21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity,” an inspiring collection of photographs that has been viewed over 14 million times. They know what they’re doing, and they do it well.  Although BuzzFeed was once known as the silly home of cat memes, it now also focuses on international news and politics. A U.S. Senator recently caused quite a stir by creating his own listicle: ”11 Reasons Why Congress Needs to Fix Student Loan Rates Now,” mixing D.C. policy decisions with images and GIFs.

BuzzFeed’s editorial director Jack Shepherd recently told 10,000 Words via email about what makes listicles so attractive to his millions of readers. But first, he had a few things to say about the word itself. Read more

There’s No Crying in Journalism: Why We Should Be Excited About the State of News

If you’ve skimmed the media-hive headlines this week, there’s every reason to wonder about your career choice. There’s a ‘sad state of journalism’ from a Huffington Post blogger and Cleveland reporters waiting by the phone to see if they have a job. Even The Onion has declared print — and therefore, good ol’fashioned journalism — dead.

I won’t have any of that. Sure, it’s hard to get a job and I can count myself among a slew of writers still waiting to get paid for longform pieces in start-up publications. But it’s all about transitions. (or so I mumble as I refresh my checking account summary, waiting for deposits). There are reasons to be excited about your work.

Read more

Jane Pratt to Magazine Editors: Kill the ‘Magazine Speak’

Jane PrattAfter founding Sassy and Jane, Jane Pratt launched xojane.com in 2011 so she could speak frankly to female audiences, a voice that she says was sorely missing from print pubs.

“It still amazes me that a lot of women’s magazines in particular will use this magazine speak, this terminology.” Pratt told Mediabistro in the latest installment of So What Do You Do?. “Like, instead of saying ‘your hair,’ they’ll say ‘your mane’ or ‘your tresses.’ And I always feel like if someone says ‘your lackluster tresses’ instead of ‘your dirty hair,’ you feel like they’re not telling you the whole truth. I feel like that makes you as a reader say, ‘Well, if they’re lying to me about that, what else are they lying to me about?’

For more, read So What Do You Do, Jane Pratt, Editor-in-Chief of xojane.com?

Nicholas Braun

WaPo Launches ‘Truth-Teller’ to Fact-Check in Real Time

Ever hot on the heels of politicians, straightening the fact from the fiction, the Washington Post has decided to take their methods to real-time reporting with their new system, Truth Teller. Funded by a prototype grant from the Knight News Challenge, Truth Teller is a mobile and desktop app that will be able to record, transcribe and show disputed facts and statistics in real time for everyone. Although still in its nascent stages, the end result would be an app that simultaneously transcribes speeches obtained via video (or, ideally, a live feed), recognizes citations of data or popular keywords, and matches them with fact-checked information from the WaPo staff. It’s not only the cutting edge of fact-checking journalism — it has the capacity to change the way people consume their political media. Read more

Trial and Error in Sponsored Content

The story circling the web today about The Atlantic’s native advertisement for Scientology raises all sorts of questions for digital newsrooms. And there are no easy answers.

In case you missed it: yesterday around lunchtime, an ad package, labeled as sponsored content, went live on The Atlantic’s website. The native advertisement was for the Church of Scientology, under the headline “David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year.” 

If it weren’t for the comment section, the package might have gone unnoticed. But reporters and readers started to notice that the commenters weren’t clear about the nature of the content. The comments, from pro-Scientology to the deeply skeptical, and The Atlantic’s moderation of the comments, raised eyebrows from the Washington Post to Gawker. It was shared on Twitter and social media as editorial content from the news magazine. At the eleven hour mark yesterday night, The Atlantic pulled the package and a message to readers about how the organization is reviewing subsequent sponsored content and policies surrounding it is up in its place.  Read more

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