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Archives: November 2009

What Not To Say When You Want A Raise | Freelancing 101 | More Links For 11-30-09

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Mediabistro Job Fair

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Media People On The Move

Newsweek’s White House correspondent Holly Bailey is taking a buyout. (FishbowlDC)

Zach Seward
is leaving Nieman Lab to join the Wall Street Journal’s web team. (Twitter)

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism named its 12 fellows for the “Strictly Financials” seminar and 12 to business journalism profs for the Business Journalism Professors Seminar. (The Pulse) The fellows are:

Strictly Financials

Business Journalism Professors

  • Adrianne Flynn, Capital News Service bureau director, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
  • Emily Burch Harris, lecturer and student newspaper adviser, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C.
  • James Kates, assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Herbert Lowe, professional in residence, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Ceci Rodgers, adjunct instructor, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
  • Buck Ryan, associate professor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.
  • Steve Schifferes, professor, City University, London, England
  • John C. Schmeltzer, chair, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
  • Claire Serant, assistant professor, St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y.
  • Sheila L. Tefft, senior lecturer, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Leslie Wayne, visiting professional, Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • Nailene Chou Wiest, director, Global Business Journalism, Tsinghua University, Beijing

The Top 50 Brands on Facebook: Food & Clothing

The Big Money ranked Facebook fan pages to come up with The Facebook 50, a listing of the top 50 companies or brands on Facebook.

Dominating the list are food and drink (Coke & Starbucks hold the #1 and #2 slots, respectively) and clothing: Victoria’s Secret scored the #4 slot, and Adidas and JC Penney hold good rankings as well.

Where are we going with this? You know where. Where’s the media?

Turns out that National Geographic ranks #22 out of 50, the first media company (unless you count Disney or Pixar, which we’d call “entertainment” companies). CNN ranks #33. Vogue is 36th. MTV? 41, and last on the list is The Onion.

What can we gather from this? Perhaps that people on Facebook like things, not ideas. Or that it’s easier to get more than 4 million fans (as Coca Cola’s page has) when you have the budget of Coca Cola.

Or it means that newspapers may soon be hiring some more social media experts.

How’d TBM come up with their list? “Various metrics—including fan numbers, page growth, frequency of updates, creativity as determined by a panel of judges, and fan engagement—were factored into each page’s score,” TBM says.

Jobs Of The Day: Cairo Bound, Marketing Chompers, More

Want to teach journalism and lead a student newspaper? The American University in Cairo (that’s Egypt, not Illinois) seeks someone to do just that.

Do you “eat, sleep and drink marketing?” (errr…) Then a retirement community in Virginia is looking for you to fill its director of marketing position.

HarperCollins seeks an Online Marketing Manager for websites in its Childrens Books vertical.

Old Navy is looking for a freelance illustrator.

Covestor seeks a Head of Marketing.

Oddcast seeks an associate creative director.

Online magazine The Globalist seeks a part-time editorial assistant.

Detroit Paper Suspends After One Week

detdailypress.pngThe Detroit Daily Press, a print newspaper to compete with the Free Press and the News, launched last Monday with a 200,000-copy press run.

On Friday, the publishers, newspaper veterans Mark and Gary Stern announced that the paper had trouble getting advertisers and was dealing with “operations problems” and that the paper would be suspended until the first of next year. “This is just a bump in the road and not the end of the Detroit Daily Press,” read a statement by the paper.

This is a huge setback to the 30-strong newsroom, which includes many journalists from Detroit’s other struggling papers.

Pay Cuts In Tough Times: What They Can Do (And What They Can’t)

Seen your hours cut? Furloughed? Sucks. Especially with only 25 shopping days, 13 shopping hours, 11 shopping minutes and 17, no, 16, no, 15 shopping seconds until Christmas!

Maybe you can make painted snowman plates or a hug box for the people on your gift list this year.

But no really. Having your pay cut sucks, even if it’s not the biggest shopping season of the year. But in case your company isn’t clear on the rules of what they can and can’t do, it’s wise to review the Fair Labor Standards Act:

  1. Your company can shut down for an entire week. It cannot ask you to do “a little work” from home.
  2. Your company can shorten the workweek, and it can ask you to make up the time on your days on. Ten hours a day for four days is perfectly legal. However, if you’re an hourly worker, you still get overtime if you go over 40 hours in a week. And if you’re a salaried employee and the shortened workweek/pay cut causes your pay to drop below $455 a week, you may be eligible for overtime.
  3. Your company can’t decide at the last minute (after the week’s already begun) to close the office on Friday.
  4. Your company can require you to use your vacation time during a company-wide shutdown. Lame, but the Department of Labor says it’s legal.
  5. And, of course, your company can cut pay across the board without giving you corresponding time off.

So yes, employers can take many unpopular measures aimed at either getting the company through the recession or lining the pockets of execs (depending on your viewpoint). However, you can always take comfort in the fact that no matter how bad it gets, you won’t be making those snowman plates. You’ve got standards.

Aol’s New Scheme: Robo Assignment Editors, Advertorials (excuse us, “Aol”) has been talking about building a “cheap content machine” for months in preparation for the company’s spinoff from Time Warner, and yesterday the company’s plans were revealed in more detail. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The online content company, which employs thousands of freelance writers including some big names, is creating a system that will choose what articles to assign based on a number of datapoints: Aol’s info on what Web users are searching for, the pages visited by AOL’s subscribers, and breaking news.

AOL says its new system determined that the most popular topic on the Web last Tuesday was “crib recalls,” following news of a massive recall by Stork Craft Manufacturing of Canada. AOL had only one story on its sites on the recall. But, if the new system had been live, editors would have geared up to supply stories on the subject from a number of angles, the company says.

Aol says it will pay its freelance contributors, who’ll work from the new site, based on what its algorithm says the content is worth: anything from nothing (with a percentage of ad revenue) to $100 per item.

Compared to other web content mills, $100 per item sounds pretty slick, but we’ll withhold judgment until we see how many $100 assignments are out there and whether you have to write articles with titles like “How Does an Amalgam Separator Work to Remove the Mercury From Dental Fillings?”

What’s Short, Salacious, And Is Killing Journalism?

Is it Twitter or some other T-word?

I do not know whether the great commercial and social advantages of the telegraph are not counterbalanced by its political evils. No one can judge of this so well as myself. The public mind throughout the interior is kept in a constant state of excitement by what are called “telegrams.” They are short and spicy and can easily be inserted in the country newspapers. In the city journals they can be contradicted the next day.. —President James Buchanan, December 1860*

The more things change, the more things stay the same, eh?

*Found in Blue & Gray In Black & White: Newspapers In The Civil War, by Brayton Harris.

Doing It Wrong | Talent Strategy | Ogilvy Hires | Links for 11-25-09

Have An Awesome Turkey Day.

flickr: dvs

Whether you’re thankful to be employed or happy for a chance at reinvention, tomorrow and Friday are days well earned for all of us this year.

2009 hasn’t been easy for many, we’ll be honest. But here’s another thing to be thankful for: The year’s almost over. Phew!

Enjoy your turkey (or turducken) tomorrow and don’t burn your house down with a deep-fryer.