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Archives: April 2012

A Dose of Optimism: J-school Grad Prospects and Website Traffic Growth

There is plenty of evidence for gloom: the newspaper industry is the fastest-shrinking of them all, and the online ad shares of newspapers have sunk to an all-time low. Hopefully, two studies released this week will help lower your blood pressure; auspicious statistics are a rare commodity these days.

As I’ve written about before, studying journalism may not be such a bad idea. A new study from Georgetown University showed that it’s certainly no worse than studying social science, arts, architecture or law and public policy. Recent graduates with journalism degrees had a 7.7 percent unemployment rate (lower than the aforementioned areas of study), with architecture faring the worst at 13.9 percent. Like any other industry, the unemployment rate in journalism decreased with experience and the attainment of a graduate degree. On average, recent grads can expect $32,000, which increases to $58,000 with experience, and $66,000 after graduate studies. The fields with the lowest unemployment rates were health and education, both at 5.4 percent. Read more

Dan Savage on Writing for Print in the Digital Era

The newspaper industry’s been facing some rough times in the digital era. But Dan Savage, editorial director of The Stranger and star of MTV’s Savage U, is optimistic. The syndicated columnist behind “Savage Love” has 21 years of experience under his belt and says the current changes the print world is facing aren’t uncommon.

“I actually think what’s happening to print media is kind of what happened to the theater 100 to 120 years ago,” said Savage in’s So What Do You Do? interview. “There were lots of jobs in the theater. That all came apart. Radio and television, a new technology, came along and just decimated — destroyed really — the profession.”

Suddenly, says Savage, hopeful actors had to be willing to work for free for years — much like the position writers today find themselves in. “When I look around and listen to people in the journalism field complain about what newspaper and print jobs are like now, for me, it echoes the history of theater classes I took in the ’80s when they were talking about the coming of radio and television and what that did to live performance.”

Wanna know how you can get syndicated like Savage? Read the full interview.

4 Questions With Matthew Keys, Deputy Social Media Editor at Reuters

“Four Questions With …” is a monthly series of interviews with different social media and community editors in the news industry.

So, what is it like to be a social media or community editor? What are the job responsibilities and how does one end up landing such a gig? The goal of “Four Questions With …” is to answer some of these questions and to give insight into what is a new and constantly evolving field.

This month, we talked to Matthew Keys, the deputy social media editor at Reuters. If there’s breaking news happening, you can bet Keys has already sent out a tweet about it or is posting about it on his Tumblr. In fact, you probably know him better as@ProducerMatthew.

Keys’ coverage and news aggregation of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which he did while unemployed, nabbed him a nomination for an Online News Association award for breaking news excellence. (We also profiled Keys back in March 2011.)

Keys joined the Reuters team, led by Anthony De Rosa, as its deputy social media editor in January. Previously, he worked at various California-based news organizations as an online news producer and interactive and mobile director. At Reuters, Keys is mainly responsible with publishing to the news organization’s different social platforms and coaching the staff on best social practices.

Here are his thoughts on the social media, journalism, and what news outlets need to do in order to be leaders in the social field. Read more

WSJ’s Market Pulse Redefines ‘Sticky’ News Site

Most news organizations seem to use streams on a one-off basis. We livestream video or tweets from events, storify breaking news coverage, or create hubs/landing pages for stories related to a single topic or series. But what if the news pages were more like your Twitter stream, always on and always updated? Only better — you don’t have to leave Twitter or load another page to read them?

Now, the Wall Street Journal is playing with just that idea. It announced on Twitter this week the launch of a new feature: Market Pulse.

This always-on stream updates constantly with the latest business and market news. What’s awesome about this — because really, they update Twitter frequently too — is from the Pulse page you can click on the story and read it as you would see it on their homepage (so some content is still subscriber only for full access). When the story opens, you can see the graphics, watch the video, read the full piece… all without leaving the stream. Then close it up and move on down to the next headline that grabs your eye.

Neimen Journalism Lab talked to the editor behind it, Raju Narisetti, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal’s Digital Network, who said:

“Markets is kind of an ongoing story all day, especially when the U.S. markets are open, and there’s an audience that follows it fairly religiously all the time. Rather than having to go to an article or a video in different, discrete places, this allows them to kind of have one place.”

Not every newspaper has the resources to do this. Nor does every news beat need or lend themselves to this kind of always updated coverage the way Wall Street markets do. But this is one of those rare things where I’m hitting my head, wondering how this idea is not already standard for news sites? Yes, many sites will self-refresh after a few minutes, but this one does it just in the stream, so you don’t lose your place, and without any weird clunkiness from reloading everything. (In fact, I was impressed at smoothly the entire thing operated. I didn’t hit any hiccups or slow downs. Everything I clicked worked, and worked intuitively. So kudos to the WSJ team.) It’s like the ultimate sticky news site — readers don’t need to leave your site or this feed at all to stay abreast of the news, as long as there’s always something more coming down the stream to read.

Break into Business Mags With Inc.

If you’ve been following start-up culture and are looking to break into business magazines, you might find a home in Inc.

While Inc. occupies the same shelf space of other business publications like EntrepreneurFast Company and Forbes, the magazine has a distinction that separates itself from its competitors.

“We are a magazine about people who are incredibly passionate and have the will to start a business from scratch,” said Alexandra BrezInc.‘s managing editor. ”We are different because of our sophistication, as well as our connection to and interest in community events. And we are a very likable brand. People are proud to be featured by us.”

For full pitching guidelines and info on the best sections to shoot for, read How To Pitch: Inc.

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.