Friday, 29 May 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
That goes particularly for newly-qualified journalists – and there are going to be thousands of them on the streets in a few weeks as a new crop of graduate and post-graduates is unleashed on an almost non-existent jobs market.
OK, but how do you innovate? Here's a round-up of smart ideas.
Tweet your way to a job
If you tweet avidly you could apply for a job in a hot new category: social media specialist. The New York Times reports that: “The position of social media specialist, introduced by companies like Comcast, General Motors and JetBlue Airways, has become the hottest new corporate job among the Twitterati.”
Stay close to journalism
This time last year Dave Lee was a newly-qualified freelance in search of work. He says the one crucial tip is, whatever you have to do to make ends meet, stay close to journalism.
He says: “So what if there aren’t any full-time reporting roles on newspapers. Are the pages empty? No! They’re still full of words, pictures, stories. All of which are — until Murdoch invents some sort of Churnobot — written by humans. You’ll struggle with local newspapers, they don’t have much of a budget, but you could have better luck elsewhere. On the web, in the nationals — they all need writers.
“So if you need to work at Sainsbury’s — do it. Work lates. Get a job in a pub.
“Just spend your day being a journalist. Get shifts, even if it’s one day a week. Apply for anything that’s remotely near to a newsroom. Work on the reception if you have to.
“You need to make sure you’re in the industry when it’s back on the way up.”
Make your pitches multimedia
Whether you are newly qualified, long-term voluntary freelance or newly redundant, you need to up your game. Michelle Vranizan Rafter regularly posts great advice on her blog, including tips such as New ways to use LinkedIn to find story sources and Why freelances should shut up and innovate
She says they must “think outside the printed page for new markets, new opportunities and new ways of conducting your writing business. The need for good writing isn’t going away – people with good communications skills will always be sought after. But the medium, the format and the styles are changing. So adapt with the times."
For example, make your pitches multimedia She advocates adding audio, video, maps and other digital information to pitches because it:
- Makes story packages more interesting, upping the chances that an assigning editor will bite.
- Makes full use of the interactive nature of the online media
- Establishes you as a writer who gets Web 2.0 technology
“Some publications are already starting to request that writers include multimedia components in their pitches. Just yesterday, a freelance acquaintance shared this letter from a regional publication that’s asking freelancers to include audio or video in their pitches:
“Beginning with the March 2009 issue of XXX, we will begin enhancing our website with article-related content. The content will include photos and audio and video recordings -- anything that helps to tell a story or bring it to life.
"For example, if you’re pitching a restaurant, let us know if you’d be able/willing to provide a short video of the chef preparing a dish or offering some kitchen tips. Have a great music group you’d like to write about? In your pitch, tell us if an audio recording could be available for the web.
"As you research your stories or even when making a pitch, let us know if you see or think of an opportunity to help showcase an article online.”
She issues this appeal to freelances to share ideas about how to squeeze more money out of the work they do.
Finally, one recently (and reluctantly) redundant staffer turned freelance is writing a blog at Journalism.co.uk to chart their search for work. It’ll keep going until the work starts flowing and is already offering a great insight into how it is done.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
But with so much that is new, how do you keep pace, and how can those who teach journalists ensure they are up to speed with everything that their students need to know?
The Online College selects 50 free open courses about writing, reporting, photojournalism, multimedia, and more.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
“The May 11 issue of Fortune Magazine is a perfect demonstration of what the three largest business magazines have done for decades. Its cover story, “How Bernie Did It’ is the culmination of a four-month investigation into the details of Bernie Madoff’s life and business operations written and reported by three of Fortune’s best editorial staff members, one of whom is a Pulitzer Prize winner. This issue of Fortune is also an example of why the magazine and its competitors Forbes and BusinessWeek, will soon no longer be able to publish these kinds of stories. The May 11 issue has 92 printed pages and covers. There are only 21 pages of paid advertising compared with more than a hundred pages in a spring issue 20 years ago.”
Thursday, 7 May 2009
“April saw a total of over 3.6m pageviews from 1,382,879 visits by 347,994 visitors making 2,995,765 pageviews plus 680,207 views via RSS feed readers. Not bad for one guy with a laptop, Blackberry and a penchant for Guinness. With traffic averaging over 100,000 pageviews daily this blog puts traditional political publications like the New Statesman in the shade.”
The view that some individual bloggers are capable to eclipsing an entire publication is well made, but how long will the big media outfits let them get away with it?
AOL has created an original-content political-comment blog of its own called PoliticsDaily and has
staffed it with a good number of seasoned and distinguished newspaper reporters and commentators.
In a welcome to its new site, PoliticsDaily says: “We'll work hard to distinguish ourselves the old-fashioned way, with heavily reported, well-written stories.”
So, the question is, can old-school political reporting compete with the individual bloggers on their own turf? And can it win?
The Washington Post says this: “Competition in the political news sphere is tough, especially online. PoliticsDaily will have to build a credible brand with its original content, going up against media organizations that have long been offering in-depth analysis, like the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Atlantic and The Huffington Post.
“PoliticsDaily will also face some competition from Politico, which incorporates blogs, breaking news, interactive multimedia features and in-depth reporting into one site. And while the New York Times and Washington Post are hemorrhaging money from their print publications, their in-depth political coverage and analysis on their websites is strong, deploying a wide array of multimedia, blogs and long form commentary.
“And while the Huffington Post is largely a content aggregator, has a leftward bent, and doesn't pay many of its bloggers, PoliticsDaily will be 100% original content from "experienced" paid writers, and will be "poly-partisan" with perspectives from the liberals, centrists and conservatives.”
There’s a film about pirate radio out just now. It’s called The Boat that Rocked, and those of us old enough to remember those days know that almost all of the rebellious, maverick DJs that manned the stations out in the North Sea in the mid Sixties jumped ship for the Radio 1, BBC’s pop replacement for the pirates.
So, would the political bloggers sign up with the big corporations, if those corporations learned how to handle them? Or are the pirates already so big that the corporations have nothing to offer them?
I'm getting the groundwork done for my book/web project Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide, which is designed to take the journalism student through from day one to graduation in text writing and editing, video, audio, stills, blogging, user-generated content, community and all other aspects of multimedia journalism. The posts on this blog all cover aspects of the project, which will be published/go live later in the year.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
And Village Soup is showing a profit.