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Vox.com Should Not Explain It All

voxlogo.jpgLike #slatepitches before it, the hype surrounding Ezra Kein’s endeavor, the focus on explaining it all, and the format of news cards — all good, interesting things — has basically set Vox.com up to be mocked.

When they’re talking about the Affordable Care Act or Ukraine, it all makes sense. When they start to explain Tinder? That’s where it starts to feel a little forced. It feels like some of the superfluous explainers, like the Game of Thrones recaps and maps, are good for social sharing and traffic, but not for their mission. If anything, they are distracting and sort of embarrassing, like when your mom used to write on your Facebook wall.

I know they want to cover everything and be the Wikipedia of news, but maybe they should stick to covering wonk. We can chart Nicholas Cage’s career over at Buzzfeed and talk about “hangry” over at The Atlantic. I know it doesn’t sound very innovative or new, but why don’t they stick to what they know? The card decks really work for that. Read more

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Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

CBS’ Watch Magazine Has a Soundtrack, and It’s Classical

Watch_June08If films get soundtracks, and television shows are backed by popular music and original scores, who says a print magazine can’t be, too?

Watch — an entertainment magazine produced by CBS, just debuted marketing videos for its celebrity and lifestyles coverage with a special bit of background noise — the sounds of a British violinist and a 22-piece orchestra.

According to an interview Watch magazine execs recently did with the New York TimesStuart Elliott, the CBS print spinoff (which, obviously, can also be accessed online, via smartphone apps and mobile devices, where the commissioned piece of music can be heard) decided to hire classical violinist Charlie Siem to write the piece for Watch‘s “brand videos”. Titled “Canopy”, the composition by Siem (who didn’t hesitate to call the project “unusual” but “rewarding”), was meant to “help [Watch magazine's] video content stand out amid the clutter.”

And after CBS’ Watch licensed the Chris Brown tune “Beautiful People” in 2013 for a big chunk of change, the pub was looking to incorporate original music into its social media and web promos for a cheaper price.

Read more

Valentines For Journalists, 2014 Edition

The only thing journalists love more than their significant other — if they’re lucky enough to find one who puts up with the whole journalism thing — is pushing deadlines. So, we know the odds are pretty good you’re still looking for the perfect words to say “I love you” in journo-geek speak in time for Friday’s Hallmark holiday.

Don’t worry! You’ve got plenty of time. But just in case you’re short on ideas or develop writer’s block before penning that love note, go ahead and send one of this year’s Valentines For Journalists to your sweetheart — especially if you both share the journalism bug.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for in this year’s batch, we’ve probably touched on your sentiment before in 2013201220112010 or 2009.

If you’re still not feeling it, join the fun in the comments and on Twitter with the hashtag #journolove. Maybe we’ll use it next year! Spread the love!

breakingmyheart

upworthyheadlinelove

sourcessay
Read more

The Great Gmail Outage of 2014

googleGmail’s is down and on a wintry Friday afternoon, that should be a good thing. Or, not.

Here’s what we learned about ourselves when email stops working:

It was pretty frustrating.

 

And we learned that we sort of miss things we don’t even like, or use.

We learned that Yahoo has an account.

  That there might be life away from the computer.

That email breaks are always good for traffic.

And, some sound advice for journos, in case this ever happens again.

Highlights from the Newsweek Staff’s Reddit AMA

newsweekAMAThe Newsweek staff did a Reddit AMA today. Jim Impoco, editor-in-chief, Kira Bindrim, managing editor, Alex Leo, head of product for IBT Media, Grant Burningham, homepage editor and Kate Gardiner, director of audience engagement, were all taking questions on a wide range of themes.

If you take away anything, it should be that Impoco has a way with words — in that he uses very, very few. And that the new team is excited about their product, the state of the media, serious journalism and are willing to defend it against cynical redditors.

Herewith, some highlights:

On The ‘New Regime’ of Newsweek

Leo: New approach is all about serious investigation, giving the reader real context (something missing at many news orgs) and having the best/last word not necessarily the first.

Impoco: It’s no longer a smart take on last week’s news. We prefer deeper dives into the important stories of the day…Investigative journalism is us — we’ve got some of the best in the business.

Bindrim: We can’t be Newsweek without accepting the connotations that name already has for people, and we would be remiss to ignore the magazine’s history. That history is a big part of why so many of us are excited about being a part of this relaunch. But neither do we want to pretend that this isn’t in fact a relaunch. We hear critiques of what Newsweek was or is every day, and it would be silly of us to take over a publication without also taking the opportunity to address some of those critiques. It’s why we like talking to readers, and why a forum like this one is valuable….I’m sure Newsweek’s past editorial leadership had reasons for choosing the covers or coverage they did, and it’s true that Jim and the rest of us can’t speak to those decisions. All we can say is that we’re listening to the feedback and making sure our current strategy takes it into consideration.

On Info-tainment, Buzzfeed, and Justin Bieber:

Bindrim: This always feels to me like asking about the difference between great literature and Twilight, or great films and Michael Bay. People are always going to want entertainment, and info-tainment is certainly a byproduct of that. I think as a news outlet, you have to find a balance, and every outlet is going to have different standards. For us, the goal is to never sacrifice quality for clicks….I do think news outlets have an obligation to present the most important news, and I think it’s safe to say Bieber isn’t that. But Americans also have a lot of options: Reuters, Al Jazeera, BBC and others all have the Ukraine in prominent positions on the homepage right now. The real news is out there if you can tear yourself away from the Biebs. Read more

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