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Archives: August 2009

FT Launching ‘Wealth’ | Typos Are A No-No On Your App | More Links for 8-31-09

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Social Media 201Starting October 13Social Media 201 picks up where Social Media 101 left off, to provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

We’ve Gone Under The Knife
Not unlike a jobseeker trying desperately to improve his chances by tucking that tummy and erasing those lines, we’ve freshened up a bit.

If you’re reading us through an RSS reader you may want to check out the new and improved homepage, which features an improved search function and some other stuff (like a link to sign up for our e-mail newsletter, hint hint). And bylines. And buttons with which you can easily retweet our stuff out into the Intertubes, which we always greatly appreciate.

Anyway, we’re pretty! Give us some homepage love!

‘I’m A Blogger Who Got Ripped Off By A Newspaper’

FishbowlLA editor Tina Dupuy sent an op-ed on spec to the Tampa Tribune.

They published it without telling her, and didn’t pay her.

When she wrote them to ask about this, she was told that generally, the paper didn’t publish unsolicited submissions and it’s not their policy to ask for permission or payment terms with unsolicited work.

In response, she sent them an invoice for $75, and made this YouTube video.

Mag Numbers Down Again; Secret Freelancing Tips?

Magazine sales numbers are, for the most part, down again in the newest FAS-FAX report, which covers the first half of 2009. The 25 top-selling magazines, which account for 50% of single-copy sales in the country, all saw drops in their newsstand sales except for Real Simple, which gained on the newsstand just 1.17 percent.

Some smaller magazines saw gains in single-copy: Mother Earth News grew 29 percent; Women’s Health saw a 9 percent increase in sales. If we were freelancers writing in these subject areas, we’d likely hit these magazines up for possible work. Will it work? Don’t know, but it couldn’t hurt.

More on the death of magazines (actually, it’s not all that bad) and the FAS-FAX numbers from Folio:.

Better Know A Media Org: ASNE

We’ve compiled as many professional organizations as we can find in all the disciplines that mediabistro visitors work in, and will be featuring one a day til we run out. We’re going in alphabetical order so nobody feels slighted, but if we skipped your favorite group by mistake, please let us know.
ASNEToday: American Society of News Editors (ASNE; formerly American Society of Newspaper Editors)

About the organization:

The American Society of News Editors is a membership organization for daily news editors, people who serve the editorial needs of daily newspapers and certain distinguished individuals who have worked on behalf of editors through the years.

To join, you must:
“Persons of suitable qualifications who are directing editors having immediate charge of journalistic policies and operations of daily newspapers, or wire services and other organizations that gather and publish information for daily newspapers, which, in the opinion of the directors, shall have attained adequate journalistic standards, are eligible for membership.” Weekly newspaper editors aren’t eligible to join.

You’ll get:
Access to the ASNE annual convention

And for that, you’ll pay:
ASNE charges based on the size of the member’s paper.
Greater than 50,000 circulation – $675 annual
25,000 to 50,000 circulation – $625 annual
10,000 to 25,000 circulation – $375 annual
Less than 10,000 circulation – $195 annual
Retired member – $155 annual
All Others – $675 annual

Freedom Communications Heading Toward Bankruptcy

Freedom Communications, owner of 30 daily newspapers and eight TV stations, owes about $770 million; the company now makes just $50 million a year down from $200 million half a decade ago.

The company will file for Chapter 11 protection this week, TVNewsCheck reports.

This comes after a company-wide weeklong furlough that was implemented between April 1 and June 30 this year, and a 5% across-the-board pay cut, as well.

The company employs approximately 5,000 people, we think (super-recent figures aren’t available, so that’s a bit of a back-of-the-envelope calcuation). Of course when your parent company goes into bankruptcy you’re not guaranteed to lose your job, but there’s always the risk that the company will want to restructure more than just its debt.

Advertising’s Still A Strong Source of Mag Revenue, But Look At These Alternatives

In some publications, advertising’s still the top source of revenue; in others, new hybrid models are what pays the bills.

AdAge surveyed five print magazines to get a sense of where the money’s coming from.

FADER makes 75% of its revenue from advertising, with slightly more (40%) in print than in digital. But another 20% comes from events, branded video, and other nontraditional revenue sources.

On the other end of the spectrum, Make magazine gets just 20 percent of its revenue from advertising, and only 3% of that is in print. A third more comes from circulation and a quarter from e-commerce. Its annual conference, Maker Faire, contributes another 16%.


A third option is The Atlantic which gets 45 percent of its revenue from circulation.


What this means is that magazines are going to have to become more creative in how they keep the lights on, rather than just hiring more salespeople. Entrepreneurial types will find many places to put their talents to work in the new media economy, oh yes.

States Leave $3 Billion In Unemployment Benefits On The Table

Leading the news today is the story that more than $3.1 billion in stimulus money set aside for jobless benefits has been yet unclaimed, because 23 states haven’t expanded their benefits to take advantage of the funds. This money could help almost 350,000 unemployed, according to estimates from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a workers’ advocacy group.

The funds are meant to cover up to seven years of benefits, but the states that haven’t expanded their programs are reluctant to do so because of worries about what will happen when the seven years run out—higher taxes, say Republicans like Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

States can get a third of the money set aside by easing the rules on the length of time someone must have been employed before they can get benefits. The rest comes if the states provide at least two of four kinds of unemployment benefits: for part-time workers, for those in training programs, for those who quit because of “compelling family circumstances” or extra money for a worker’s dependents.


Time To Switch To PR? | Lighthouse Lays Off Half Its Staff | More Links For 8-28-09

Yikes: Hack-To-Flack Fail; Job-Hunting Tips

Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks was looking for a new job in PR.

He applied with what many found to be—and what he later admitted to be—a supremely arrogant cover letter, excerpted here (the full can be found on the Bad Pitch Blog):

As a journalist for 30 plus years and a newspaper columnist the past 12 at The Kansas City Star, I am eminently qualified to be your public relations specialist — despite no paid experience in public relations.

Frankly, if there’s a pr person above the pr specialist, I’m probably qualified for that job, too.

I would be happy to submit an application, but I’d hate to be wasting your time and mine if it turns out this is some minor league position with a paltry salary.

Now, we’re not gonna have his head for this. Some want to. We think the guy was just trying to cut the BS and show a little confidence. So what if he erred on the cocky side?

However, the guy made two huge mistakes.

1) Not reading the job description properly, or at least not doing his research. A couple seconds on Google would have found that the job description matched an entry-level position and that the salary probably wasn’t what he was interested in.

2) Being so obnoxious, in the hiring manager’s mind, that he was outed. Now his boss at the Kansas City Star knows he’s job-hunting.

“Mike and I talked,” his boss Jesse Barker told Poynter. “I was supportive and that was the end of it. We’ve moved on.”

We say feel free to be arrogant rather than deferent/submissive in your cover letters, but be aware that you run the risk of having this happen to you.