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Journalism Advice

Check Out Our G+ Lunch Hangout Tomorrow!

mb logoWhat’s on your calendar tomorrow during lunchtime? Do we really need to ask?

We’re hoping you’ll join us on Google+ for the next career lunch hangout at 1 p.m. EDT.

Join your MediaJobsDaily editor Vicki Salemi and Mediabistro managing editor Valerie Berrios as they talk to Kim Taylor, a freelance copywriter for a variety of agencies and brands including David Levy, Brand Jam and American Express Platinum Travel.

Get tips on how freelancers can manage their time, land new clients and even pursue a passion project on the side.

Oh, did we mention that it’s free? Looking forward to having you join us!

Mediabistro Course Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Hurry, this boot camp starts next week! Register now!

The post Featured Post appeared first on MBToolBox.

Basic HTML Can Be a Valuable Skill on a Media Intern’s Resume

Media-Intern-Post-4Compared to other millennials, I am late to the technology game. I didn’t have my first home computer until halfway through my freshman year of high school — in 2007. I still remember having to go to my dad’s office or a library to type up papers, which I didn’t even bother with until one English teacher complained about a handwritten short story I submitted. Mind you, my penmanship was impeccable (it’s since taken a turn for the worse).

Now that I’ve caught up and spend most waking hours in front of a screen, I cannot stress enough how important it is for media interns to be more than computer literate and fluent in Microsoft Word. They need to learn some coding.

I’ve said before that journalists should not be one-man bands, but this doesn’t mean they cannot know the basics of the technologies and tools they use today. And coding is a big one.

My experience with HTML before this past year was nonexistent. Aside from the one or two tips I’d glean from a friend who majored in computer science, I basically discarded the skill as something unnecessary for journalism. After all, I’d want to write, not produce. My time should be spent working on finding stories and polishing my writing. Read more

How to Temper the Fear of Dreaded Pitch Meetings

Pitch-Meetings-Bog-PostFor the first few weeks that I attended pitch meetings at Guideposts magazine, I was a nervous wreck. Every time 10 o’clock on Wednesday morning rolled around, I’d anxiously fidget and crumple the pitch sheet I’d prepared with palms that were already starting to sweat. I preferred to sit in the chair farthest from the table and look down at my now-damp paper, so I wouldn’t be called on. Part of the reason I got so nervous is because of my own introverted self, but the main reason is because as an intern you have an overwhelmingly strong desire to please your editor and any dissatisfaction makes you question yourself and your abilities. Now that I’ve had a few weeks of pitch meetings under my belt, I feel I can share what I’ve learned about making these meetings a little less terrifying for interns. Read more

How to Be a Community Journalist

There’s no doubt technology has made it easier to cover current events and breaking news on a global scale. Likewise, websites like Patch have helped to reignite the notion of reporting on local news. And for some freelance writers and photographers, going local is the ticket to getting steady work. In Mediabistro’s latest Journalism Advice column, we share some tips on how freelancers can break into the oft-forgotten field of community journalism.

The first step is to be invested in the community you’re covering — and to know it well. Lance Knobel, founder of community news site Berkeleyside, which covers Berkeley, Calif., said:

The benefit of writing for sites like Berkeleyside is that journalists can really dig into a local issue. It’s very much ground-level reporting; nothing happens at 35,000 feet.

You should also be prepared — at least for the first story or two — to write for free. The benefit, of course, is getting your name out there and gaining the trust of your editors. According to Tracy Record, editor of the West Seattle Blog:

Your work is likely to be read and remembered by more people via our readership than if you are buried somewhere in a mid-level metro.

For more tips from editors on how to start working in community journalism, read: 6 Ways to Break Into Community Journalism.

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.

 

Editors Discuss How Interns Can Make a Lasting Impression

As we all know, every career — media based or otherwise — begins at the bottom of the rung. But while you toil away at data entry work, research or transcribing interviews, it’s important to remember that your time spent as an intern could be your launching pad — so it’s imperative to make a lasting impression.

One of the first things interns should understand is what their priorities are. It’s great if a media job allows its interns to regularly pitch content and story ideas, but those opportunities should be secondary. Taylor Trudon, editor of Huffington Post Teen had this to say:

It’s not to discourage or dissuade anyone from writing about what they’re passionate about or taking a side project. But it’s also important to keep your editor’s priorities in mind.

You should also be open to being mentored by your supervisor or colleagues. Don’t just listen to your boss, really take in and implement what they are trying to teach you. Mandy Stadtmiller, deputy editor of xoJane, appreciates when she sees her suggestions being used:

I really notice when someone actually takes action and doesn’t just say, ‘Oh, thanks for the good advice.’

For more internship tips from editors, read: 8 Ways to Succeed at an Editorial Internship.

 

Baseball Faux Talk Show Asks Broadcaster Key to Conducting Good Interviews

Want to rock out your career to the next level? Or maybe you’re just starting on the interview scene. Well, according to this video there are a few essential tips to keep in mind to conducting stellar interviews.

On a summer Friday, we figured it’s time to keep things light in the spirit of these comedic videos, “Foul Territory,” launched by the YES Network and hosted by the Yankees’ first baseman, Mark Teixeira.

On the mock talk show, Tex quizzes Yankees announcer on YES and former New York Times reporter Jack Curry about being a good interviewer. Curry’s response: “Do as much research as possible. You never want to ask a yes/no question.”

Take a look at the clip:

Technical Writing May Offer a Secure Career Opportunity for the Working Writer

For the creative writer who enjoys writing lifestyle content or dreams of publishing her first novel, delving into the world of technical writing might seem, well, not so fun. However, writer Amanda Layman Low says that a technical writing position is not the “facepalm-migraine it sounds like” and recommends it as a lucrative career option for any writer.

In the past year, Layman Low dipped her toe into the field and eventually landed a full-time gig as a technical writer for a sales consulting company. Basically, she writes eLearning course material that teaches sales representatives how to sell software. Although it might sound dull, she says, there are plenty of reasons to jump on board, especially given the changing landscape of journalism. Unlike that uncertainty, “technical writing isn’t going anywhere,” said Layman Low. You have the security of knowing that companies will always be looking for writers of content for training, presentations and other corporate materials.

And the higher-than-average money she earns as a technical writer versus writing for other markets doesn’t hurt either. Layman Low says:

Do I think it’s fair that technical writers get paid more than some journalists and novelists? No. I don’t think technical or sales writing is intrinsically “worth” more than beautiful prose. But I won’t deny that the income eases a ton of the stressors of my past life.

For more on the advantages of a career as a technical writer, read: The Case for Breaking Into Technical Writing.

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.