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Archives: August 2012

The Breakup, Part Two: Who Covers The Media Beat Better?

In the second part of our look at Poynter in the post-Romenesko era and JimRomenesko.com in the post-Poynter era, we chose a random week to read both JimRomenesko.com and Poynter’s MediaWire thoroughly. Though both Romenesko and Mediawire writer Andrew Beaujon (plus the rest of the MediaWire team) covered a lot of the same stories, there were significant differences in how and when.

Monday, June 18:

Mediawire’s first post went up at 7:18 a.m., but in fairness, it was a link to a story posted on CNN the previous Friday.

Romenesko’s first post of the week was up at 10:22 A.M. the day before–the Times-Picayune internal memo saying that the new company’s jobs were online. The memo was timestamped 7:40 a.m. (presumably CDT). Point: Romenesko.

However, as of 10 a.m. Monday, Mediawire had added four more posts (including the same Times-Picayune memo), and Jim had added two–and one was just a funny screengrab of a misspelling in a TV subtitle.

By the end of the day (EDT), Mediawire had 11 total posts, while Romenesko had nine. Three were about typos or other unfortunate “oops” journalism moments. One was a cute piece sent in by a tipster about how a newspaper ad guy used the paper to propose. And the “Morning Report” and “Afternoon Report” together make up 14 links to newsy important information.

Mediawire aggregated/linked to a number of things. As far as we could tell, only one piece included original reported material, but at least two of Mediawire’s aggregations were quite excellent–this analysis by Andrew Beaujon that ties together Rodney King’s death and ‘citizen journalist’ James O’Keefe’s comments on a recent panel and this story, drawing on no fewer than six sources to describe layoffs at Australian newspapers. Point: Poynter.

Tuesday, June 19:
Mediawire’s first post up is at 8:43 EST. It’s a story about a study that found the Wall Street Journal used the phrase “job killer” three times more often than the New York Times. The Huffington Post had this same story last Thursday.

Jim’s first post, a bunch of links, is up at 7:47 CDT. But his next post is the story that blew the Jonah Lehrer “scandal” open–the initial report that showed that Lehrer, new to the New Yorker, had recycled old material for a column. This is the story that will dominate most of the media news cycle this week (for better or worse).
Beyond that story, Jim also posted an apparent exclusive about a promotion at the New York Times and three fluffy items.

On Mediawire, the staff added four more items, all aggregated, including the Jonah Lehrer story (five hours after Romenesko had it). There is a nice, longish, skillfully aggregated analysis of the Watergate mythology pegged to the 40-year anniversary of the story breaking.

Point very much goes to Romenesko.

Wednesday, June 20:
Mediawire leads with an exclusive about Matt Groening retiring Life in Hell, not the most earthshattering news but a big blow, as you’d imagine, to Groening’s fans. Andrew Beaujon follows with a thoughtful piece about the Jonah Lehrer fallout, and then there’s an exclusive about layoffs at Rollingstone.com. In fact, Mediawire is on it with the original content today as the blog then posts an item about NABJ choosing not to rejoin UNITY and an analysis of the layoffs at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and how they disproportionately affect blacks. Throw in a few aggregatey items and you have a total of 9 items for the day.

On Romenesko, Jim writes a similar Jonah Lehrer analysis and follows it with another (an excerpt from a review of a book by Lehrer, which raised questions about his reporting back in 2009). It’s the same book review Poynter had linked to earlier, but Romenesko chooses his excerpt for more meat, which is valuable.

There’s then a piece about a scoop by a college reporter, a short piece about how much Playboy model and anti-science “activist” Jenny McCarthy makes for her writing ($2 a word!), and some more assorted short items to finish up the day. Hard to declare a winner here: Romenesko wins for quantity but Mediawire may have succeeded with quality.

Thursday, June 21:
Mediawire leads at 7am EST with a press release about a company Poynter purchased, and puts up an aggregation of a “future of news” story ten minutes later (yawn, yawn). The first interesting piece comes at 8:53 a.m., and is Alec Baldwin’s defense for why he punched a photographer.

The best piece of the day is Andrew Beaujon’s story about how an AP reporter was duped by a source.

Meanwhile, Romenesko leads with a story about Ann Curry (it was announced on Brian Stelter’s blog the night before that NBC wants to replace her). It would be great if this stemmed the Jonah Lehrer tide, but it doesn’t, as the day brings two new Lehrer-related posts, but also a bunch of Ann Curry news. These are incremental advances, perfect for the blogging format, and while we personally may roll our eyes at seeing the same story repeated over and over again with just the smallest amount of added detail or context, this is what blogging is for. The item we don’t understand is the one about an editor at some website telling her site’s writers in a memo to click on ads, because “our advertisers are the reason we all have paychecks each month.” This would be a big deal if anyone had heard of the site, but as nobody has, the piece falls flat.

Friday, June 22:
Romenesko leads with a news item (via Politico) that a Politico reporter has been suspended over remarks he made over Mitt Romney. He then posted an exclusive about a reporter leaving the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an analysis of Michael Calderone’s Huffington Magazine piece about Politico, some news items (Warren Buffett announced he was buying the Waco Tribune-Herald, for one), and finally a somewhat meta item about how the New York Daily News sent him a cease & desist letter for using their picture of Alec Baldwin punching the NY Daily News photographer.

Mediawire’s first post is an interesting aggregated piece about a newspaper that photoshopped a local political figure’s head into a “target practice” cover, and then the same item about Joe Williams, the Politico reporter. The blog also has two separate posts during the day about Aaron Sorkin’s “Newsroom” and a few of the same newsy stories as Romenesko, including the same story about Warren Buffet buying the Waco Tribune-Herald. Mediawire’s post went up way after Romenesko’s, and it’s slightly better, but not so much better that the delay feels worth it. Around 2pm, Andrew Beaujon put up a piece about Calderone’s Politico piece. Since it didn’t go up until 2, Beaujon aggregates the aggregators–looking at what all the other bloggers reading this piece decided to say. Finally, the week closes with an interview with Edward Champion, whose blog post about Jonah Lehrer’s self-recycling was the “Starr report of the Lehrer affair” (we never thought we’d say those words).

Come back Friday for part three: our final analysis.

Six Nuggets of Career Inspiration From the Late Helen Gurley Brown

Need a little jolt in your job today? Look no further.

Earlier in the week we paused with great respect when the death of Helen Gurley Brown was announced. After all, she’s the ultimate “Cosmo girl” — the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, author of Sex and the Single Girl, and quintessential media maven.

While perusing her obituary in The New York Times, one can’t help but extrapolate interesting tidbits that can add a spring to your step! Read more

Four Ways to Help Your Team Advance

There’s no “i” in team, right? What better way to propel your career and feel the satisfaction of group collaboration than having your team succeed right there along with you, right?

According to a recent post on The Daily Muse, there are several ways to move forward, in particular if you’re managing a team right now. And if not, and you’re on the track for managing editor or even a promotion to oversee a few associates, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about ways to achieve group goals. Read more

Lifestyle Website Asks Candidates to Submit Headshot

Really?!

Typically employers don’t want candidates to submit a headshot with their CV because it puts them at discriminatory risk if they’re ever audited. But alas, in the day and age where it seems anything goes, it does.

As pointed out by JimRomenesko, there’s an editor-in-chief position available at Joonbug.com and candidates must include a photo of themselves or they simply won’t be considered!

Check this out from their job posting:

*You must ATTACH a picture or headshot of yourself. Applicants without a picture or headshot will not be considered.

Three Common Mistakes of Creative Resumes & How to Avoid Them

Let’s face it: As journalists and media folks, we’re immersed in the world of creativity. We march to the beat of a different drum so when it comes to a standard, chronological resume, that can be a bit bland.

In the case of a creative resume, the folks at Brazen Careerist remind us it can show prospective employers there’s a creative problem solver right in front of them.

That said, a few major faux pas within the creative resume can be the ixnay on the objay.  For starters, don’t forget your industry. Read more

The Breakup: Six Months In, How Are Poynter.org and JimRomenesko.com Changing?

Late last year, Jim Romenesko, considered by many to be the Poynter Institute’s star employee, left Poynter in a dramatic and widely-discussed breakup.

Shortly after, he launched his own blog, JimRomenesko.com, where he covers pretty much the same beat (media news and criticism) he had at Poynter. Meanwhile, Poynter hired Andrew Beaujon* to keep up the media beat there (along with other Poynter staffers) on Romenesko’s blog, now renamed MediaWire.

Now, more than half a year in, how are the two sites faring? Many predicted when Romenesko left Poynter that the nonprofit had signed its own death sentence. “Poynter has just Qwikstered itself in under 24 hours,” wrote a commenter going by Kevin Allman on the Columbia Journalism Review story about the debacle. (It’s the Internet, so no way to tell for sure, but that commenter is likely alt-weekly editor Kevin Allman.)

“Frankly, I have never read anything in Poynter other than Romenesko,” another commenter said on Poynter’s own post about the “mess” the departure had become. “I deleted Poynter from my favorites list,” another said.

But we wondered whether the outrage held up–whether people truly did stop visiting Poynter.org after Jim Romenesko’s departure, and whether the visitors flocked to JimRomenesko.com. We also wondered how the two sites’ reporting held up. After all, Romenesko is one man with diverse interests (he said at the time that he planned to add some stories about topics other than journalism) and MediaWire now boasts multiple bylines from four Poynter staffers besides Beaujon (soon to be three, as Steve Myers recently announced he was moving to The Lens in New Orleans). So how does the media coverage on Romenesko and on Poynter differ these days? And who’s reading?

First, we’d hoped to have an analysis of the two sites’ web traffic stats, based on information gleaned from Alexa and Compete.com. But it turns out, thanks to data provided to us by Poynter’s Julie Moos, that said analysis is going to have to be a bit less in-depth than we’d liked, because the data you can get from free online tools is pretty inaccurate (who’d have thought?).

What we can say is that the relative trends seem to be accurate, so it’s fair to say that Jimromenesko.com is on an upward trajectory since its launch last year:

(Except April. A measurement error? Again, free tools–low expectations.)

Poynter had a great April after a relatively slow first quarter:

Moos went on to tell us that unique visitors to Poynter.org are up 20% over the year, partly thanks to an effort to “diversify our audience,” Moos said. “Our traditional journalism audience was really rapidly declining between 2009-2010….we’re combining the news and realtime analysis at the same time. That’s helped us reach outside of our traditional audience.”

What sort of changes? What’s Jim doing in response? (Maybe nothing. He told us over email: “I’m just trying to have fun on my new site — using a lot of visuals, reader contributions, insider memos, and the like. I rarely look at Poynter so I can’t compare what I do with what they’re up to.” ) We’ll take a look at the coverage in the next post.

*Disclaimer: Beaujon edited the few stories I contributed as a freelancer to the Washington City Paper and employed me as a contract copy editor for about 6 months.

How to Handle a Boss Who E-mails 24/7

Ah, we know this all too well. A boss sending e-mails at all hours of the morning, noon, and oh yes — night.

How can you demonstrate you’re a responsive employee while also creating boundaries so you don’t succomb to responding post-midnight?

According to The New York Post, Gregory Giangrande, chief human resources officer at Time, Inc., advises:

 

“First, make sure your boss expects a response at all hours — which, depending on your line of work, is highly unlikely. But demonstrating that you don’t create hard lines between being on and off duty is critical for long-term career success. Let’s not forget, the flip side of mobile technology is the flexibility it provides us not to be a slave to traditional in-office work hours. If you at least respond to a few late-night pings, you might be surprised at how quickly a bond may form with your new boss.”

Essentially, it’s important to remember technology doesn’t necessarily mean you need to log on 24/7 and respond even when the person at the other end of the e-mail is your boss. Sure, responding a few times may go along way but this is a good opportunity to create boundaries from your work and personal life so you’re not stressed out about responding to e-mails at midnight.

Mediabistro.com Job Board Announces Another Big Winner

Congratulations to our Yankees vs. Red Sox tickets winner Louise Daly, director of human resources at CFO Publishing. She won two tickets (15 rows behind home plate!) to the baseball game next Sunday night.

The company has been posting jobs with us for years and Louise indicated, ”Mediabistro services our industry, so I find the right kind of candidates on the site.”

It sounds like Daly was pretty excited since she confessed, “I never win anything!” She’s taking along her stepson, a die-hard Yankees fan who is also celebrating his birthday the same week of the game.

Daly added, “He is so happy now to be going to this event!” We’re glad they are both excited — it’s going to be a great game!

If you didn’t win, you still have many chances to win one of our fabulous giveaways. Keep posting jobs with us, and we’ll continue to enter you into our contests as a token of our appreciation.

Mark Duvoisin Named Managing Editor of ‘The Los Angeles Times’

The Los Angeles Times has named its new managing editor: Marc Duvoisin.

The veteran editor has worked on various projects for the newspaper and as pointed out by the Times, he honed his skills working as a reporter, foreign correspondent, city editor, and projects editor during the course of his 35-year career.

He said, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead one of the greatest news-gathering operations in the country.”

In the announcement, editor Davan Maharaj stated, ”In his 10-plus years at Spring Street, Marc has had a guiding hand in some of the finest journalism we’ve published. He’s shown an ability to bring together diverse newsroom disciplines to make our most ambitious work shine.”

Good News! Job Market Shows Improvement for J School Grads

Finally, there’s good news to share! According to a University of Georgia survey, recent U.S. journalism and mass communication graduates are entering a job market that’s slightly better than previous years.

That said, as indicated by JimRomenesko, graduates from 2011 still encountered more challenges with job opportunities than their peers did in 2007.

Graduates who have landed full-time jobs indicated their salaries were higher than graduates from 12 months ago.

So, what’s the overall breakdown aside from salary? The survey looked at the job market within journalism and communications broken down by field: Read more

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