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The Turning Point in Your Career? ‘New York Times’ Tech Reporter Recalls Meeting Steve Jobs

Jenna-WorthamLast night in Manhattan at The WiCi Awards, New York Women in Communications’ event honoring rising stars in communications, the honorees were asked about the turning point in their career.

Jenna Wortham, honoree and technology reporter for The New York Times, shared a story that certainly wowed. And it reminded us why we love communications and journalism in the first place.

Here’s her story:

“I was hired to work for The Times when I had no experience and actually turned the job down in the beginning because I didn’t think I could do it because I didn’t go to J-school. I wrote about t.v. shows for a website from time to time. I didn’t have a ton of hard core business reporting but I had been working at The Times and was really inconspicuous at my desk….when you’re young and you’re green and starting out it’s hard to shake that.

I remember this experience of being invited to a product demonstration and I had been at the job maybe a year or two. I was still incredibly nervous and I got the invite — I didn’t want to say yes but there are some things you can’t say no to so I said yes. I was anxious and I was freaked out, so I didn’t sleep the night before. I went to work the next day and I’m sweating thinking, ‘I’ll get through this.’

So we go up to the room and we have this product demonstration and it’s Steve Jobs of all people. Read more

Get a Free Webcast When You Purchase a Mediabistro Course!

Although it’s back to school time for the kids, why should they be the only ones to hit the books?

When you’re looking to propel your career, hone your skills and amp up your mojo, classes are some of the best ways to give your career a one-two punch to the next level.

From now until Thursday at 11:59 pm ET, when you buy any Mediabistro class you’ll get a free webcast! The promo starts today and all you have to do is use the promo code WEBCAST at checkout.

In particular, we’re fans of the course, Develop Your Freelance Career.  Taught by Brooklyn-based freelance writer Lauren Waterman, the class covers basic freelancing skills such as creating ideas to pitching them. In fact, by the end of the course students will create two pitch letters and a list of well-crafted salable story ideas. Read more

Score That Job: Dow Jones

If our recent Cubes episode giving you an insider’s look at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal made you think about working there, here’s your chance to find out how to make that happen.

Vicki Salemi, mediabistro’s very own career expert, author and editor sits down with Meredith Lubitz, vice president of Talent Acquisition at Dow Jones to hear what it takes to go from candidate to employee.

A couple of hints? Who you are outside the office is just as important as who you are inside. So tighten up that social media presence. They want to know what you’re saying to the world.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Cubes: VIP Tour of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal

Unlike most divorces, Dow Jones, the home of the Wall Street Journal, got to keep its space in the Midtown Manhattan News Corporation building after the parent company split into separate print and broadcasting units. The publishing arm, housing WSJ, kept the News Corporation name while the broadcast and entertainment part now calls itself 21st Century Fox.

Hosted by Wendy Bounds,Wall Street Journal Editor and host of WSJ’s video offering “Lunch Break,” the kids at mediabistroTV got to see the legendary standing receptionists, drew inspiration in the hallway of Pulitzer Prizes and tried not to end up as gossip fodder on the twitter page of the lobby’s chandelier.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Laid Off ‘Sun-Times’ Photographer Documents New Life With iPhone

By now you’ve probably heard the unfortunate news that the entire photography staff was laid off by the Chicago Sun-Times last week. Well, one of the photojournalists has decided to share his life through his iPhone, as mentioned on JimRomenesko.

Rob Hart writes in his Tumblr account, “Rob Hart was replaced with a reporter with an iPhone, so he is documenting his new life with an iPhone, but with the eye of a photojournalist trained in storytelling.”

The freelance photojournalist and adjunct faculty member of photojournalism at the Medill School of Journalism posted his first photo of a zig zag carpet design. The caption read: “Zero hour. Carpet on the 14th floor of the Holiday Inn where 28 Sun-Times photographers lost their jobs.”

Throughout the past several days, in true storytelling form, he was able to witness his daughter taking some of her first steps, return to class at Medill, and reminisce good times at the Billy Goat Tavern during “hour 1″ of this new chapter.

Media Beat: Brian Stelter’s Choice, Work in TV News or Cover It

How did an 18-year-old college student in Maryland gain the trust of and get access to TV executives and anchors in New York? “By posting 10 or 15 posts a day meant that the industry knew it was a reliable consistent source,” says Brian Stelter, creator of TVNewser and now a media reporter for the New York Times and author of the just released book “Top of the Morning.”

As he neared graduation, Stelter had to make a choice: work in TV news, or cover it.

McClatchy Consolidated Copy Desk Could Be Up By Year-End

Ok, so it was announced a year ago, but details about the centralized copy desk that McClatchy is setting up at the Sacramento Bee are finally emerging.

A bargaining update from the Bee Guild says that McClatchy will begin assembling the center mid-year and hopes to be up and running by the end of 2013.

The new center may handle more than just McClatchy’s California papers, the Guild reports. “The new copy center is being conceived to handle additional products beyond the Sacramento and Modesto Bee newspapers. This could include contract work for third-party publications (outside McClatchy) as well as other McClatchy papers.”

The Guild also discussed a company proposal to cut the hours of an unlimited number of full-time staffers, and the company’s policies on part-timers freelancing for other publications. “The company said this allows more ‘flexibility’ to manage cost cutting by being able to save some money short of laying people off,” the Guild wrote.

Star Tribune Begins Contract Negotiations

The newsroom at the Strib in Minneapolis began contract negotiations this week in preparation for their current contract expiring Jan 31, 2013.

The union presented its first proposal Wednesday, which includes a proposed 5% extra pay for night shifts, holidays separate from paid time off, a limit to the number of temps the company can use, and a few other requests. The proposal doesn’t ask for a raise, which is interesting since the guild notes that covered workers haven’t received a raise in 4.5 years.

Guild co-chair Janet Moore read this statement at the negotiating table Wednesday:

We don’t expect to live like kings, we simply want to earn a decent standard of living to support our families.

Four previous go-arounds in the past six years at tables such as this, and nearly 30 years in this profession, have taught me a few truths. Among them:

If you do not offer a competitive match on your 401k plan, you will not recruit the talent necessary to lift this organization above and beyond its brethren.

If you do not treat your employees with respect and dignity, both financially and culturally, a contagion will eat away at the underpinnings of your organization. Good people will continue to leave. Friends, you are at a critical stage.

If you do not engage in a progressive, positive, relationship with your employees in the Guild, all the best-laid plans for the future will likely founder.

You have the opportunity in the weeks to start anew and craft such a relationship — where we join together to challenge an uncertain, but potentially invigorating, future.

Negotiations continue Jan. 8.

NYT Wants To Negotiate Separate Print, Digital Contracts

The New York Times is hoping to negotiate separate contracts for employees depending on which division of the newspaper they work for, according to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko.

The union says that Times management has “inexplicably dropped a bomb” on the negotiation process after months of “incremental progress” toward one contract.

“By demanding to negotiate two separate contracts, management may have invalidated all the work previously done in subcommittee over nearly 17 months, including tentative agreements on job descriptions, the workweek, casual and temporary workers – in total, 21 contractual issues that had seemingly been settled,” the memo said. “It also means that the Guild may have to set up a separate negotiating committee for a new digital-only contract. This wrench in the proceedings came after the company negotiators blamed the Guild for lack of progress earlier in the talks.”

New York guild president Bill O’Meara said that he believes the Times is pushing to declare impasse, after which it can impose any contract it wants (which would currently include a pension freeze, a longer workweek, and other conditions).

The declaration by Times management that the union would have to negotiate two separate contracts also means that the Guild is firing back: it plans to file grievances over digital employees doing the work of print, something it had overlooked in the past “because of its belief that both sides were working toward one contract.”

The next few months of negotiations will certainly be interesting ones…

Times-Picayune To Go The Way Of The Ann Arbor News; Deep Cuts Coming

The New Orleans Times-Picayune is losing a large chunk of its staff and may cease daily publication, the New York Times reported late last night.

Owner Advance Publications/Newhouse Newspapers may be following the Ann Arbor model, in which it transformed the Ann Arbor News from a print to a primarily web-focused publication, cutting staff in the process.

Editor Jim Amoss is said to be leaving after assisting with the transition. Also departing will be managing editors Peter Kovacs and Dan Shea.

Gambit, a local NOLA weekly, has more from shocked employees: “All employees with whom Gambit spoke — even longtime senior writers and editors — said they learned of their fates from The New York Times report….’I had to find this out by Twitter,’ said [a reporter]. ‘Do I go in to the office tomorrow? Do I even have a job to go in to tomorrow? I don’t know. No one has called me. No one has said anything.’”

Also according to Gambit, the layoffs are likely to target at least 50 reporters, bringing the newsroom staff down by one third. The remainder will likely take salary cuts and become bloggers.

If the Times-Picayune owners are truly emulating the Ann Arbor model, the cuts are likely to be deeper than just those 50. When the Ann Arbor News closed, about 10 percent of the 274 employees got jobs at the new