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Archives: March 2012

Deborah Norville: My First Big Break


In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we talk to “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville. Now everyone knows her as the face of the syndicated CBS news program, but before she got her shot nationally, she started in Georgia, working at CBS affiliate WAGA. As for her break, it came before she even graduated from college, and involved a little bit of luck, and former President Jimmy Carter.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Tips for Landing an Entry-Level Social Media Job

While some employers discourage the use of social networks through invasive practices, others want prospective employees to maximize their presence on Facebook.

After talks with recruiters, Whitney Parker of Brazen Careerist compiled a list of tips to help those who want to land a job in social media management, especially without prior experience. “It’s probably not enough to tell a hiring manager that you have a Facebook page,” Parker writes, “so where do you start?”

She suggests the following:

1. Test your mettle by committing to an internship
Internships are not just abundant in the general media space, but also in the social media world.

2. Target your potential employer with a social media ad campaign
Social media is part science, part creativity. Parker recommends that applicants set up a website that also includes a video introduction and then promote that page using a social media ad campaign.

Read more

Questionable Hiring Practices | Newsweek’s Financial Losses | NPR versus CNN

Want this Job? Provide your Facebook Login Information

Imagine this. You’re on an interview. It’s going well. Then the interviewer turns to her computer to search for your Facebook profile. When she finds that it’s private, she asks you to provide your Facebook login information.

Sound invasive?

That’s what Justin Bassett, a New York-based statistician thought, reports The Boston Globe. While Bassett withdrew his application because he didn’t care to be employed with a company that inquired about such personal information, the article points out that not everyone has the luxury to do so. Many need employment and may have to provide their Facebook login information to obtain it.

Are you thinking the same thing, is this legal? According to The Boston Globe, there is legislation on the table in Illinois and Maryland that would deem it illegal for public agencies to ask for social network access. Apparently, this practice is much more common among law enforcement positions. As an alternative, some agencies ask for potential employees to login into social networks during the interview.

Either way, it’s sticky territory for companies and employees.

Layoffs | Layoffs | More Layoffs |Resignation

A Cookbook Ghostwriter Tells All

Okay. Sit down. Hold onto your hat, and maybe even get a barf bag ready if you’re sensitive. What we’re about to reveal is…shocking.

Gwyneth Paltrow did not write her whole cookbook by herself.

Rachael Ray doesn’t do all her own stuff either.

We’ll ready the fainting couch. When you’ve revived, check this out: a cookbook ghostwriter has explained what it’s like to be her in the New York Times.

It doesn’t sound like an easy job: the ghostwriter must “produce a credible book from the thin air of a chef’s mind and menu — to cajole and probe, to elicit ideas and anecdotes by any means necessary.”

“‘Write up something about all the kinds of chiles,’ one Mexican-American chef demanded of me, providing no further details. ‘There should be a really solid guide to poultry,’ a barbecue maven prescribed for his own forthcoming book. (After much stalling, he sent the writer a link to the Wikipedia page for ‘chicken.’)”

The pay is not very good. The chefs can be abusive or prima donnas. But if you make it, you’re golden – chefs even put your name on the front of the book, like with Paltrow’s aforementioned ghostwriter, Julia Turshen (though, interestingly enough, Paltrow claims to have written every word herself while Turshen lists the book on her website under ‘Work’). After the success of ‘My Father’s Daughter,’ Turshen and Paltrow are working on a second book.

Millennials: No Collar Workers

Millennials will transform workplaces according to a new study by MTV entitled, “No Collar Workers,” that took an in-depth look at the career perspectives of this often misunderstood generation. The study was conducted online in January 2012 and polled 509 Millennials.

Nick Shore, senior vice president of strategic insights and research at MTV, wrote a piece about the study for MediaPost, reminding us that “around 10,000 millennials turn 21 every day in America right now, and by some estimates there are already 40 million millennials in the workforce.” According to Shore, at the core of the Millennial employee is, “the quest for meaningful work that makes a difference.”  This fundamental need manifests itself in ways that differ from Baby Boomers and GenX.

Shore elaborates:

What could be misinterpreted as “self importance” is a deeper sense of having many new ideas and wanting to contribute, as well as a desire to have their tech skills and savvy tapped by senior managers.

What could be misinterpreted as “career pickiness” is an expression of a need to connect deeply with the work…

More specifically, the study found that:

88% of Millennials want their coworkers to be their friends

89% of Millennials want their workplace to be social and fun (compared to only 60% of Boomers)

Read more

Rosie Gets Canceled | More Busts at High Times Magazine | Ranking Journalism Schools

So far this morning, in addition to a couple of staff additions at Gawker, we’re reminded of a few things: anyone can get fired, smuggling drugs and magazine publishing don’t mix well, and journalism schools deserve to be ranked.

Introducing MJD Blogger Felicia Pride

Starting Monday, your friendly neighborhood blogger will be Felicia Pride, a FBNY vet who will have all of you in good hands.

I (Rachel Kaufman) will be chiming in on Tuesdays and Fridays, but Felicia’s “taking over,” more or less.

Besides acting as a contributing editor for mediabistro, Pride is a content producer, creative entrepreneur and educator with more than ten years experience working in media. Her work has been featured by USA Today, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” and the Baltimore Sun. She has also been highlighted by the Maynard Institute as a Woman of Color in Digital Spaces.
Prior to her work here, she was the founding executive editor of inReads, an online community dedicated to “social readia,” that’s a production of WETA, the nation’s leading producer of public television programming.

She’s also the author of six books, a former book columnist for The Root and founding book blogger for AOL Black Voices. She’s also a hip-hop education fellow at NYU. Welcome Felicia!

Conde Nast Reforms Internship Rules

Conde Nast has issued a set of guidelines that will reform its internship program.
The Atlantic reported the news with air quotes around “reform.”

Why? “Because the changes don’t do much to fix the broken system. In fact, the changes just prove how unfortunate the whole situation is.”

Here are the guidelines:

Interns aren’t allowed to stay at the company for more than one semester per calendar year unless granted special clearance by Human Resources.
• Interns are required to do an orientation with HR where they are told to contact them if they are working unreasonably long hours or are mistreated.
• Interns can only work until 7pm and their security badges will actually be modified so that they won’t work after 7pm–meaning they won’t be able to get back into the building after 7 (making any late-afternoon errands or pickups particularly stressful)
• Interns are given stipends (around $550 for the semester)
• Interns have to receive college credit to be eligible for an internship.
• Interns will have to have official mentors
• Interns are only allowed to work on tasks related to the job at hand and no personal errands

“These things should be implicit, not part of some kind of revolutionary reform,” the Atlantic says.

Well, yes. Too little too late, and all. But these rules really should curtail the worst intern abuses (like a manager making the intern pick up her dry cleaning). And while $550 doesn’t go far, is it really an empty gesture?

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