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Journos

Harvard Crimson Editor Questions Nicholas Kristof D-cision

HarvardCrimsonLogoEverything about Nicole J. Levin‘s open letter to Class of 1981 grad Nicholas Kristof is spot-on. Right down to the way she signs her missive:

Sincerely,

Nicole J. Levin
Magazine Editor at Large, former Executive Editor, and
future Pulitzer Prize potential nominee.

Levin’s letter strikes just the right tone with respect to where Kristof’s recent decision to drop the “D.” middle-initial from his byline falls in the grand scheme of things:

I’m sorry, but you can’t just drop the D. It goes against everything in The Crimson’s Style Guide. Once you break one rule, what’s next? Maybe you will start writing “first-year’s dean’s office” instead of “Freshman Dean’s Office.” Worse, you might start writing “am” instead of “a.m.” If you set the precedent of no middle initial soon the Crimson Style Guide will have no authority; all 15 pages in our Google Drive will be completely meaningless and arbitrary.

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Newspaper Vet Moves On from Patch Conference Call Layoff

RalphEllisThumbFrom August 2011 until August 2013, former Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Ralph Ellis was the editor of Decatur/Avondale Estates Patch. Looking back this week on a tumultuous journalism-year-that-was, he still finds room on his list of “My Top Five Journalism Jobs of 2013” for the AOL hyper-local network. Even though he was rudely dumped via conference call and still to this day doesn’t understand how his bosses determined who got to stay and who had to go.

Intriguingly, Ellis’ list can be found on decaturish.com, a Patch competitor launched in the spring by Dan Whisenhunt that counts Ellis as a contributor. So what else does a grizzled newspaper guy who still loves to write do, post-Patch? In Ellis’ case, he has been freelancing for the New York Times, CNN.com and anyone else who will have him:

I write newsletters for WebMD on dogs, cats, gastrointestinal disorders and cold & flu, thus allowing me to pen headlines such as “Myths, Facts About Snot,” “Why Dogs Hump, Mount” and “The Scoop on Poop.”

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Robin Leach Celebrates 50 Years in Journalism

VegasDeluxeLogoThe great American adventure started for Leach on November 23, 1963. That’s when the British-born journalist and future, celebrated bon vivant arrived in Manhattan and found himself, like so many others before and since, a very long way from anything rich or famous:

I sailed into Manhattan Harbor onboard the Queen Mary and landed with no job and contacts and just $135 in my pocket. My first lodging was in a rundown hotel for $27 a week with the bathroom down the end of a corridor of beds.

It took me two days to get a job and, after selling shoes at a New York City department store, landed back in journalism at the Daily News of New York.

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Two Reporters Bound by Fleeting Oswald Memories

MauriceCarrollBookCoverThe first journalist is Maurice C. Caroll. As Capital New York’s Jimmy Vielkind recounts, on November 22, 1963 he was in Dallas for the New York Herald-Tribune:

When Oswald was shot, editors asked Carroll to write a first-person piece recounting his on-the-scene experience. Later, Carroll recalled, they realized they had forgotten to assign another writer to draft a main article. The result was a front-page report with Carroll’s byline that starts as hard news (cleanly written through by colleague Larry Shapiro, Carroll recalled) and then turns to Carroll’s personal observations.

“The prisoner, hands cuffed in front of him, was led into the cavernous garage under the station. Seconds before the shot, I shouted, ‘How about it, Lee?’

Those were very likely the last clear words Oswald heard before being shot, moments later, by Jack Ruby. The other journalist on this sad anniversary date is Pierce Allman. His encounter happened a little earlier.

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Vice’s Correspondent Confidential Reveals Journalists’ Untold Stories

There are two distinct narratives for journalists covering the same story for a long time: the story they publish, and the story they tell themselves or their friends over a beer. Producer Carrie Ching wants to reveal those untold personal stories with her new Vice web series, Correspondent Confidential, which screened last night at the Explorer’s Club on the Upper East Side. Every episode is a brief, animated tale told by a reporter, and a different artist illustrates each one.

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editor Pays Tribute to His Pulitzer Prize-Winning Role Model

SergeSchmemannPicDaily Princetonian writer Loully Saney took advantage of this week’s visit to campus by Pulitzer Prize-winning International New York Times editorial page editor Serge Schmemann (pictured) to ask the esteemed journalist some solid questions.

Alumni of Princeton and Harvard will definitely want to read the interviewee’s take on the differences between those two universities. When Saney asked which journalist Schmemann admires most, he got this wonderful bygone-era answer:

“Well, I had a lot of models, actually. Okay, I’ll say John Darnton. We were in Africa together — he was Times, I was AP. We spent some time together, then he went to Poland. I think he was one of the cleanest writers I have ever met.”

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Shirley Halperin, Music Editor of THR, on Landing an Interview with Bieber

ShirleyHalperinShirley Halperin has seen it all. She’s been covering music since the mid-90s and has worked everywhere from US Weekly to The Los Angeles Times to where she is now, the sole music staffer for The Hollywood Reporter.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Halerpin talks about the difficulties of getting Justin Bieber to sit down for an interview, his changing physical appearance, and the importance of getting his story just right:

The one challenging thing about writing this piece is that there were so many different ways into it. There were literally six or seven completely different ledes, angles, focuses that I could have done. It was really coming up with the one that was most relevant for right now — that also appealed to [Janice Min, editorial director of THR] and our deputy editorial director, Mark Miller, and was also a really interesting read, [one] that felt exciting. But there were so many different ways to do that.

To read more about Halperin’s ascent from intern at High Times to music expert at THR, read: So What Do You Do, Shirley Halperin, Music Editor For The Hollywood Reporter?

 

Earn $1.50 A Word And Up At This Parenting Mag

AmericanBabyAmerican Baby magazine has been doling out mothering advice since 1938, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. The monthly pub’s key demographic these days are first-time millennial moms seeking advice on everything baby related.

The mag’s content is 50 percent freelance written and their various online counterparts, including Parenting.com, are in need of fresh content. The pub’s editors dish on the coverage they’re looking for:

American Baby is specifically targeted to the first-time, millennial mom in her 20s to early 30s, and that focus has a large impact on the book’s style and tone. “We’re very modern about our approach to having a baby, and I think that’s reflected in the writing,” says Mindy Walker, American Baby’s executive editor. “It’s very friendly, but we also use a lot of authority. We don’t dumb it down for the reader; we keep it very direct and approachable.”

To learn more about how to get published in this pub, including editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: American Baby.

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.

From Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Party to Inside Climate News

In the picturesque city of Portland, Maine, The Forecaster comes out once a week to keep area residents informed about the latest news and sports happenings. But there’s also room for other topics.

SabrinaShankmanTwitterProfilePicTo wit, The Forecaster currently has a wonderful profile of 30-year-old area native Sabrina Shankman (pictured). After undergraduate journalism studies at NYU, she did her graduate work at UC Berkeley, where she made time for a very unusual detour:

During grad school, Shankman did a summer internship with the South African bureau of the Associated Press in Johannesburg. She covered stories ranging from Nelson Mandela‘s 90th birthday, to violent elections in Zimbabwe, to the burgeoning South African snowboarding scene.

“I was there for just two months, but it was a hell of an experience,” Shankman said.

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Ted Conover Revisits Harper’s Undercover Assignment

TedConoverPicThe article, titled “The Way of All Flesh,” ran in the May 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine. This week, author Ted Conover revisited his experiences going undercover as a USDA meat inspector in a Midwestern industrial slaughterhouse for the piece, as part of a Morse College master’s tea discussion at Yale University.

He told students that going undercover is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he was surprised by the kinds of personal connections he was able to establish with other slaughterhouse workers. On the other, that kind of connection is only possible up to a point:

“I don’t think you can feel you really belong if you’re undercover, because you can’t express yourself in a full and honest way,” Conover said. “It’s a form of research I don’t recommend, because it’s hard over time to not be able to feel you belong or tell your friends back home.”

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