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Journalists Who Tweet About Being Laid Off: Necessary or Just Awkward?

Bloomberg_News_logoWe’ve talked a lot on the blog about how Twitter for journalists can be a blessing and a curse.

It can be used for finding sources, breaking news and making connections regarding potential work — but for announcing you’ve been laid off?

Laurie Muchnick, who was the highly-respected books editor at Bloomberg up until Monday, tweeted this to her nearly 6,000 followers:

“Not sure how to put this so here goes: Bloomberg is cutting arts coverage, including books, so today was my last day there.”

Later in the day, the New York Times reported the employee cutbacks in the arts and sports departments, adding that Bloomberg plans to focus more on its finance and government beats instead.

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Was Condé Nast Right to Nix Their Internships?

Conde-Nast“Everything I learned about journalism I learned in J-school,” said no one ever.

Where I learned best was in my internships — the good, bad, ugly, paid, unpaid, unpaid (but for school credit!), East Coast, Congress Avenue, random roommate-living, sleeping-on-couches type of internships that many of us have done.

Operating under that assumption, I’m still scratching my head as to why Condé Nast decided to can their highly-sought after internship positions altogether.

Think about it: publication interns start out doing the basics — fact checking, research, maybe writing some blurbs and perhaps some reporting. I was fortunate enough to learn how to edit B-roll, become dangerous with HTML and write good Web headlines throughout three internships. Interns tread lightly. These are things that you need to know how to do exceptionally well the second you step into an interview for a media company (unless you came from a stellar college paper newsroom where you really got your feet wet).

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How ProPublica Used Kickstarter to Fund a Reporting Internship

Investigative news site ProPublica took to Kickstarter in May to fund an internship to conduct watchdog reporting on the intern economy in America, and they’ve successfully raised the money they need to proceed.

The nonprofit newsroom says it started the campaign with a question: “What’s your internship story?” and relied on crowdfunding and a loyal readership base to fund their internship. Over a 30-day period, ProPublica received nearly $24,000 for a 16-week fall internship, and the job will entail traveling across the country to college campuses, investigating some of these questions:

Who benefits most from these internships? What protections exist for interns who encounter discrimination or harassment? Are interns being fairly compensated? 

Backers on the site could make contributions from $5 to $10,000, with $500 toward the campaign buying you a pizza party at ProPublica’s NYC offices (still can’t believe no one took them up on that offer). The Knight Foundation got behind the idea, too, and will donate $5,000 toward funding the internship-reporting intern.

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Vibe‘s Jermaine Hall: ‘Being editor-in-chief is a lot of schmoozing’

In the same year that music mags Blender and Giant folded, Vibe shuttered, as well. But, luckily for the iconic mag, it was snapped up by a private equity firm, and editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall was brought on to resurrect the pub. And resurrect it, he did.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Hall explains how the mag is winning again and explains why editors-in-chief need to be more than just good writers.

“A lot of things that come with being editor-in-chief aren’t necessarily drilled down into the day-to-day tasks. It’s a lot of schmoozing; it’s a lot of fixing relationships; it’s a lot of bartering; it’s a lot of people skills,” he said. “It’s really going out there to be the ambassador of the brand on all levels. And that doesn’t necessarily come from being the strongest writer, it just really comes from people skills and the contacts and the relationships there that you’ve been able to build over your career. So, I think it’s knowing that it’s more than just writing and more than just editing at this level.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, Jermaine Hall, Editor-in-Chief of Vibe?

How to Land a Journalism Fellowship

Scoring a fellowship can not only boost a journo’s career, but provide valuable resources to carry out a project in this cash-strapped industry. From year-long stints at Ivy League schools to short-term projects, there are many options for those looking to enhance their skills. In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran journalists and fellowship directors give tips on what you can do to make your application stand out. Here’s an excerpt:

Come up with a doable project.

Some projects sound great but are far too ambitious, dangerous or simply not feasible to pull off within the confines of a fellowship program.

“Sometimes people have this idea that if they just come to Stanford there’ll be computer science geeks falling over to work on their project, but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Jim Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight journalism fellowship program at Stanford. “You have to show in your application that you have the skills to do what you’re proposing and that you are the right person to carry it out.”

For more, read 6 Tips for Landing Journalism Fellowships. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

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