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Reporting and Writing

Local News Now Plans Hyperlocal Vertical for DC

1392014673219The publisher of ARLnow.com, BethesdaNow.com and RestonNow.com announced plans to launch a new local news website aimed for hyperlocal coverage of DC. Like the other sites within its brand, it will cover business, crime, and neighborhood news.

While its other local sites are successful for their locations, the new vertical will have lots of competition, specifically from InTheCapital.com, which launched just over two years ago and has a staff of 10+. Not to mention The Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, and a plethora of hyperlocal DC blogs.

Regardless, Local News Now LLC is looking for someone with two years of local news reporting experience, photography and photo editing skills, and a familiarity of social media.

One perk: “We believe in work-life balance and in a five-day work week — you will not be asked to work nights or weekends except in the event of breaking news or an especially important neighborhood meeting or event.”

For more, click here.

What the Washingtonian Wants from a Personal Essay

magazines_articleIn part three of our four-part Personal Essay Markets series, we spoke with editors from 15 different mags to get the details on what they’re looking for in a personal essay.

Here, an editor from the Washingtonian shares his advice on pitching the pub’s “First Person” section:

Washingtonian – “First Person”
The back-page essay in this magazine should have a Washington, D.C., angle, and it’s best if the writer lives in or has lived in the area. Past examples include an essay by a 15-year-old heart transplant recipient about meeting her donor family, and a piece by a public defender about how she does work that many find indefensible.
Length: 600 words
Pay: $1 a word
Assigning editor: Bill O’Sullivan, BOSULLIVAN at WASHINGTONIAN dot COM
O’Sullivan’s advice: “Get in fast — 600 words isn’t much space, so you have to set up your story quickly. Be sure you have something to say (an essay as opposed to an anecdote) and fill it with as many specific details and mini anecdotes as possible. Keep in mind that this is a story, not an opinion piece.”

For more, including similar details about Working Mother, read: Personal Essay Markets, Part III.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Afternoon Lede Check, 3.18.14

A man was shot and killed when he fires on officers; the U.S. suspends consular relations with Syria; and a Navy Yard review suggests DOD handed out too many security clearances.

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today, after the jump…

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ICYMI – #McConnelling, MA Flight 370, Chris Brown Jailed

CNN’s Arwa Damon Receives Oxfam Award

Tonight, CNN’s Arwa Damon will be at the Newseum in downtown DC to collect Oxfam America’s first ever “Right the Wrong” Award. The award comes as Damon returns from a reporting stint in Turkey, where she has been covering anti-government protests. But for the past few weeks, Damon has been been covering a much more dangerous beat -the civil war in Syria. Indeed, Oxfam is recognizing her tonight for her “fearless reporting on conflict and humanitarian disasters in Syria.” (A great example of which can be found here.)

“It is a bit surreal,” she says of the contrast between the chaos of a war zone and the pomp of an awards ceremony.

“I am more comfortable being out there, dirt under my nails, amongst it all. But of course it’s phenomenally flattering and I think it does serve as a platform to highlight all the issues that we are covering out there.”

Damon is perhaps uniquely suited to cover the war for CNN -she is the quadrilingual, half-American granddaughter of former Syrian Prime Minister Muhsin al-Barazi. He was deposed and executed in 1949 during one the coups that wracked the early days of the independent Syrian state. She grew up in Morocco and Turkey, graduated from Skidmore College in New York, and began her career shortly after 9/11. At the time, she was working at a Turkish textile company, but in the face of the anti-Arab backlash taking hold of the country, she decided to dedicate her life to a higher purpose than hawking robes and carpets.

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Fishbowl Five: HuffPo’s Josh Hersh in Syria

Joshua Hersh, The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut, has been in Damascus since Saturday. As one of the few American journos on the ground there, he has a front row seat to a tragic piece of history in the making. FishbowlDC was lucky enough to have Josh answer a few questions for us about what it’s like to report from a war zone and what’s he’s learned about the devastating conflict developing in Syria.

Without further ado, The Fishbowl Five with Josh Hersh:

You previously covered foreign affairs out of HuffPo’s DC bureau, now you’re based in Lebanon. What parts of an international story, especially a war story, do reporters miss by not being on the front lines?

The hardest part to recognize is how inconsequential we often are. That’s not totally true of course — decisions made in Washington and New York play a major role in the course of events all over the world. But even though the people of the Middle East may talk about us a lot over coffee and a cigarette, they don’t really care about us all that much — and they certainly don’t care about the same things we do. There’s a tendency in political discourse in the west — especially on TV, or the halls of Congress — to think what we do and say matters more than it really does. Learning to disentangle our political debates about foreign policy (should Obama intervene in Syria, should there be a total troop draw-down in Afghanistan, etc) from the substantive questions of what’s really going on out in those countries is both instructive and liberating.

It’s also useful to recognize how little people in the world fully comprehend about our politics. Things we see as key distinctions — even something as broad as the fact that the president makes foreign policy, and congress mainly just pontificates about it; or that one party is in control of the White House and the other is not — are often lost on other countries. (And it’s not about intelligence: Next time you read a quote from a political leader in Iran about bombing Israel, for instance, think about whether you really know whether he’s in the part of Iran’s government that actually controls nuclear policy, or just the part that complains about it.)

Much more with Josh Hersh after the jump.

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Society of Professional Journalists Convenes at Georgetown in March

The Society of Professional Journalists is holding its annual Region 2 Conference (that’s D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and North Carolina) on Friday March 28th and Saturday March 29th at Georgetown University. The conference starts Friday with a screening of “A Fragile Trust,” a new documentary about the plagiarism and fabrications of NYT‘s Jayson Blair. On Saturday, there will be a full day of programs and a Mark of Excellence awards luncheon.

Speakers and workshop leaders include: Emily Grannis of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Derek Willis and Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times, WaPo‘s Greg Linch and T.J. Ortenzi, Scott Smallwood of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Delece Smith-Barrow of U.S. News and World Report, among others.

For details and tickets go here. For conference updates visit www.facebook.com/SPJRegion2 or @spjregion2.

TNR Names Jason Zengerle Senior Editor

ec814ca8-b81a-4d06-ab3c-e9cc84564510.imgJust four months after joining the not-so-old Politico Magazine as a senior staff writer, Jason Zengerle will join The New Republic as a senior editor.

In a TNR press release, Editor Franklin Foer says of Zengerle that, “Jason is a master of his craft…His pieces are unfailingly deep and almost always manage to stir conversation.”

Prior to Politico Magazine, Zengerle was a contributing editor at New York magazine and GQ. Zengerle spent the first 12 years of his career with TNR, so to hear of his return isn’t too surprising.

Also announced today is the addition of two new staff writers, Alice Robb and Danny Vinik. Robb, previously a fellow at The New Republic, will write about academia. Vinik, coming from Business Insider, will report on economic policy and politics.

Join us in offering a FishbowlDC congrats to Jason, Alice, and Danny!

Friday Installment of In Case You Missed It

In Case You Missed It Header
In case you missed it, here are some stories that posted across the web in recent history.

Boehner: Sometimes I’m ‘Gestapo’ by Tal Kopan for POLITICO.

Address May Hint at Compromise on Ways to Fight Inequality by Jackie Calmes for The New York Times.

D.C. Has 72 Miles of Bike Lanes. Ward 8 Has Zero by Aaron Weiner for the Washington City Paper.

Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Lays Off 40 | Yglesias Departs Slate | Businessweek Cuts Back? by James Crugnale for FishbowlNY.

ICYMI – Biggest Lib Super PAC; Sochi Security; Hannity to SOTU; Beer, Pot, and Rx for Biebs

In Case You Missed It Header
In case you missed it, here are some stories that posted across the web in recent history.

Blimplike surveillance craft set to deploy over Maryland heighten privacy concerns by Craig Timberg for The Washington Post.

Biggest Liberal ‘Super PAC’ to Fund Possible Clinton Bid by Nicholas Confessore for The New York Times.

Worry builds over Russia Olympic security by Philip Ewing for POLITICO Pro.

Hannity to attend State of the Union with Rep. Gohmert, may run for office in Texas by Nick Swartsell for Dallas News.

And for the third day in a row ladies and gentleman, Mr. Chris O’Shea for FishbowlNY with Today Show Models Team USA Olympic Opening Ceremony Outfits.

And likely one of the biggest stories of the day, Justin Bieber arrested on drunken driving, resisting arrest charges by Alan Duke for CNN.

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