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Archives: January 2013

MIT Technology Review Wants Your Ideas

Unlike most pubs that are cutting down on long-form stories and giving less resources to in-depth reporting, MIT Technology Review remains deeply invested in giving journos the time and space to investigate a bold idea. Editors at the mag are looking to add to their stable of freelancers who generate 75-80 percent of the content in the feature well and reviews sections.

“I would hate to think of a freelancer assuming, ‘Oh, they wouldn’t want that because it’s going to be such a major project to go report,’” said deputy editor Brian Bergstein. Au contraire: With a bimonthly publishing schedule and a budget for deeply reported pieces, that’s exactly what editors want to hear, even if it’ll take four months to investigate. “We want to have the kind of things readers are only going to get here,” he said.

For more info, read How To Pitch: MIT Technology Review. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

‘For Journalism’: News Developers Launch A Kickstarter To Raise Money To Teach Data Journalism For All

A new Kickstarter campaign kicked off this weekend with a goal of raising $32,000 to create educational tools for the “next generation of news-application developers.” If they reach their goal, these are the first eight courses they’ll teach:

It’s a lofty goal and a huge commitment from each instructor, seeing as they each have day jobs at high-profile news organizations. The great Dave Stanton will be the ringleader of the group, overseeing day-to-day outreach and helping the instructors stay on goal.
The mission of this project is admirable, and would be one of the best educational resources out there for journalists.  Each course contains an ebook, screencasts, code repositories and forums.
Pledging to their campaign comes with benefits:
  • $5+: You’ll get a Twitter shoutout
  • $20+:  Access to one topic of your choosing
  • $100+: Access to seven topics of your choosing
  • $110+: Every course in the batch plus a t-shirt
  • $500+: Access to all materials for a team of 10
  • $10,000+: All university students/staff get access, plus help strategizing around integration

 Donate here.

Andy Carvin of NPR Shares Wisdom On Reddit

The rapid rise of the online social community Reddit has born out a phenomenon that has captured a large swath of the Internet: the “Ask Me Anything” or AmA. Everyone from Icelandic indie band Sigur Ros to President Barack Obama has hopped onto Reddit to answer user questions about their lives, their dreams and their goals. It’s a growing medium for communities to connect to a heretofore unreachable public figure, and every once in a while it creates a major teaching moment.

That happened today when NPR’s Andy Carvin —  a senior strategist and reporter whose work on the Arab Spring, primarily through his Twitter account @acarvin, led the Washington Post to call him a “one-man Twitter news Bureau” — dispensed helpful advice about digital journalism and production on stories that occur thousands of miles away. His hour-long AMA gave great insights into his own reporting style, and the toll of covering the Arab Spring.

Here’s a roundup of some of the highlights.

On Authenticating Video

The most import thing to do is look for context. Is there something visible in the background that can be IDed, like a building or other landmark? If people are speaking, what kind of accents do they have? If there are weapons involved, what kinds are they? Does the timestamp of the video match the weather forecast, or the location of the sun and shadows? Etc, etc. Fortunately, I have a lot of Twitter followers who love this type of detective work. Read more

P5: ProPublica Invites Newsroom Devs To Hack With Them For 5 Days

In a fellowship-meets-hackathon type model that aims to grow the pool of people doing news application development in U.S. newsrooms, ProPublica is inviting news developers into their offices for a few days each month. The program is called ProPublica’s Pair Programming Project — P5 for short — and applications are open now.

P5 will accept one resident per month to go to New York City for an opportunity to work with some of the best news apps developers in the business.  They’ve won two Pulitzer prizes for their reporting, both of which had heavily data-involved and interactive storytelling attached.

People who are already proficient programmers and are working at a news organization are preferred for the program.  Though there will be some learning and mentorship involved, this residency isn’t for you if you don’t already know how to code. If you don’t have your own project in mind, worry not — you can work on one of ProPublica’s projects.

If you’re interested, you can get more information  on ProPublica’s site. If your skills aren’t up to snuff, maybe think about nudging a traditional engineer or IT person in your newsroom to apply.

A New Internship Program at Patch, Complete With Scholarship

This summer, Patch will be partnering with the Dow Jones News Fund to provide their summer interns with a unique experience: Interns will complete a week-long training program at Western Kentucky University before heading back to their prospective posts across the country. Not only are travel expenses and housing covered, interns get an hourly wage and will receive a $1000 scholarship upon completing the program.

All in all, about 40 students will be selected in 18 states. The program will have two start dates: early June through August and mid-June through the first week of September. “[We're looking for] someone who’s really passionate about community journalism,” Andi Morrison, college recruiter at Patch, told 10,000 Words. “That kind of entrepreneurial spirit is the first thing I really look for.” To apply, students should have some online journalism experience, whether it’s writing for campus media or freelancing for a local news outlet. Read more

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