I Could Do That (ICDT) 20-9-10 Updated

September 20, 2010

Some media  job opportunities from this morning’s Guardian Media Section and Ned’s Job of The Week:

Press Officer at Clarence House, working with HRH Prince of Wales. Paddy Haverson, head of comms, is probably one of the nicest people in the world; this would be a really interesting job, whether you are a republican or royalist.  http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/1027147/press-officer-clarence-house/

Writer for Bluefrog, a specialist marketing agency working for the charitable sector. You won’t retire wealthy (20-30k) but a good niche and if you’ve just banked a couple of years salary in redundo, an interesting opportunity. http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/1027161/writer/

WorldView Project Director. A UK scheme to improve UK understanding and awareness of the developing world via the mainstream broadcast media. Would suit TV person with a bleeding heart. Not a bad whack either for the non-profit sector; linked to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/1027424/worldview-project-director/

Advisor Media Relations and Special Events, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC. I had never heard of this lot before; would suit communicative, healthy, Spanish speaking Washingtonian. Got this from Ned’s JOTW.  http://www.comminit.com/en/node/323369/ads

Senior Specialist – Public Relations, ABA, WASHINGTON, DC. Working with the criminal justice section, so a few years doing the courts would help. . Got this from Ned’s JOTW. https://www5.recruitingcenter.net/Clients/abanet/PublicJobs/controller.cfm?jbaction=JobProfile&Job_Id=10422&esid=az

Director of Alumni Affairs, Office of the Dean, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. “The Director of Alumni Affairs is responsible for all alumni programming designed to engage the alumni of the McDonough School of Business (MSB) with the school in meaningful ways.” (Someone else looks after the meaningless ones?). Wouldn’t hurt to be a Georgetown alum oneself I would have thought.   Got this from Ned’s JOTW. http://www12.georgetown.edu/hr/employment_services/joblist/jobs.cfm

Content Writer and Editor, Contract Position, Christensen Fund, San Francisco, California. The Christensen Fund (www.christensenfund.org) is a fifty-year old foundation in Northern California with a long history of funding the arts, environmental conservation, and education — locally and internationally. Lots of writing and editing. Got this from Ned’s JOTW. http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/jobs/job_item.jhtml?id=308200023

Director of Public Relations, Demand Media, Santa Monica, California. Demand Media is one of the new content factories, churning out articles that meet the demands of the online ad industry. Smart model; and interesting to work for the people that were supposedly responsible for putting journalism out of business…  Got this from Ned’s JOTW. http://jobs.prweekjobs.com/careers/jobsearch/detail/jobId/29776879

Associate Editor, Ford Foundation, New York, New York. Relatively junior job, for someone with 3-5 yrs experience as a reporter/writer. Someone more senior might still be interested as part of a process of converting out of media, though. Ford Foundation unlikely to run out of money any time soon. Got this from Ned’s JOTW. http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/jobs/job_item.jhtml?id=307800020

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Ten tips for a young journalist

March 12, 2010

A friend’s daughter got a new job at a university newspaper (clever thing). I sent some tips, mostly drawn from things others told me, or established industry lore, or stuff I copied off the web. All additions and comments welcome; no cynical “don’t do it” kind of stufff though please. Encourage.

My ten:

1.       Write to be read. There is no point writing for yourself. Write for one, ten, a thousand, but write for someone else.
2.       Read to write. Others have done this before and knowing that does not prejudice originality. Nor does borrowing.
3.       Get out some. There is nothing to be found at home. Go listen to music (or whatever) and soak it all up. [She is writing about music]
4.       Suspend disbelief. Listen to things you don’t like, and sometime imagine you might be wrong.
5.       Kill your little darlings. Most of the time, the bits you come to love most in what you write need to be removed; they are getting in the way of what you want to say.
6.       On time, on sale. Hit the deadline, every time. It is a state of mind.
7.       Don’t make it up. Ever.
8.       Don’t write down; write up.
9.       Never resign.
10.   Don’t bury the lead.


Getting drunk at the NYT

September 29, 2009

Gay Talese describes the tobacco-filled and liquor-drenched newsrooms of The New York Times in the sixties—where men passed out on typewriters, and no one was quite sure just how the paper actually got out.”

From Big Think. “Big Think is a global online forum connecting people and ideas. Through an ever-expanding platform of knowledge content, including in-depth interviews with the world’s leading experts, Big Think is a vital hub for important information to help you function, and succeed, in a rapidly changing world.”


BizWeek on the Journalism Job Market

September 20, 2009
Michael Mandel at Business Week has done some great work analysing changes in US journalism jobs. The bad news: a decline of a third in newspaper jobs in a decade. The good news: more internet jobs and twice as many information services jobs. But the net result is that this sector is shrinking. “What we have is a wipeout in newspapers, plus what looks like a combination of secular and cyclical declines in other “journalistic” industries.”

Bureau for Investigative Journalism seeks boss

July 20, 2009

A very desirable job is on offer at London’s new Bureau of Investigative Journalism as Managing Editor. The Bureau, likely to be based at City University, is funded by the Potter foundation. This is the press release announcing its launch.

“Its aim is to foster independent public interest journalistic inquiry while encouraging a new generation of reporters,” says Roy Greenslade in the Guardian.

“It will hire a managing editor, two or three reporters and will also fund freelance investigators and researchers,” says Press Gazette. “Its aim is to dig out – and then sell – the stories that many news organisations say they can no longer afford to cover in-house.”

“One of the journalists behind the campaign, Stephen Grey, will be acting editor of the new bureau as it prepares for launch, until a permanent managing editor is appointed.” Many journalists will know Grey from his work on extraordinary rendition.

The project is supported by the Investigations Fund, launched by the newly created Foundation for Investigative Reporting. The FIR includes a a number of UK luminaries, including Grey, Misha Glenny, Antony Barnett, Martin Bright, Heather Brooke, Peter Barron, Nick Davies, Nick Fielding,  Mark Hollingsworth, Andrew Jennings, Philip Knightley, Paul Lashmar, David Leigh and Jason Lewis.

The organisation is essentially a copy of ProPublica, the US body. “ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest,” it describes itself. “Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.”

Gavin Macfadyen, the Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and one of the founders of the Bureau sayes in the press release: “We will experiment with all the techniques available to us from ‘crowdfunding’ to ‘crowdsourcing’ and provide content across the media spectrum. But there is no substitute for first rate reporters being given time and resources to deliver great stories, which hold the powerful to account. The Bureau will offer investigative journalists both proper funding and the support of senior and experienced editors and researchers to carry out important investigations that are in the public interest.”

Will it work? That probably depends on what you mean by work. It will produce journalism as a “production house” rather than a publisher – a news agency. Such models are hard to make work. The lack of a commercial factor will help in the sense that revenue will not be a daily fixation, but it still needs money to survive. And the lack of publishing platform means that it will need others to help drive audiences.

As paidContent sniffily says: “Journalism Now A Charity Case.” It notes “the irony – buoyed by The Telegraph’s MP expenses investigation and The Guardian’s mobile hacking story, investigative and data-driven journalism is more popular than it has been in years.”


Why employ a journalist?

March 18, 2009

A good piece by Jill Geisler of the Poynter Institute on ten reasons to hire a journalist.


State of the US news media: grim

March 16, 2009

US media is struggling against the twin forces of economic decline and technological advance, says a report today. “Journalism, deluded by its profitability and fearful of technology, let others outside the industry steal chance after chance online. By 2008, the industry had finally begun to get serious. Now the global recession has made that harder.”

The annual study on the State of the American News Media is definitive, with lots of analysis and data. The overall message is of decline and decay. “Newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23% in the last two years. Some papers are in bankruptcy, and others have lost three-quarters of their value.”

“First, the audience migration to the web accelerated substantially in 2008, and even though most of that growth was at traditional news destinations, the financial impact of that was a negative one, according to the report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Traffic to the 50 news websites, for instance, jumped 24%, triple the pace of growth of the year before, but online ad revenue flattened, and in newspapers it declined. Second, the recession hammered advertising and diverted attention away from innovating new revenue sources.”

And yet, as the survey points out, there is more journalism – and there are more readers – than ever before. “The problem facing American journalism is not fundamentally an audience problem or a credibility problem. It is a revenue problem-the decoupling, as we have described it before, of advertising from news.”

It notes a few trends:

  • The growing public debate over how to finance the news industry may well be focusing on the wrong remedies while other ideas go largely unexplored.
  • Power is shifting to the individual journalist and away, by degrees, from journalistic institutions.
  • On the Web, news organizations are focusing somewhat less on bringing audiences in and more on pushing content out.
  • The concept of partnership, motivated in part by desperation, is becoming a major focus of news investment and it may offer prospects for the financial future of news.
  • Even if cable news does not keep the audience gains of 2008, its rise is accelerating another change-the elevation of the minute-by-minute judgment in political journalism.
  • In its campaign coverage, the press was more reactive and passive and less of an enterprising investigator of the candidates than it once was.

The survey is worth reading if you have even a passing interest in the subject. As Alan Mutter, a respected commentator says, “It is the worst of times for the businesses that traditionally have funded professional journalism but the best of times to be a journalist, so long as you aren’t counting on a job at a media company to pay your bills, raise a family or fund your retirement.”