Seven more links and thoughts for the new year


Flickr photo by rubybgold used via Creative Commons.

With the wind whipping the snow around this morning here in central Illinois, time for a few more links to keep warm with:

McCullough named to social network role at AP (via Will Sullivan)

She will direct the work of editors there and around the company in pursuing journalistic material from social networks, promoting AP’s presence and content on social networks, and providing feedback to news managers on topics of high interest on social networks.”

One of our recent graduates is now social network manager for a large insurance company. This is one of the growth areas in journalism, so if you’re not helping with your college media social strategy, now would be a good time to get started. BTW, she’s only been at AP for two years.

Hyperpartisanship continues apace – Andrew Breitbart, former hack editor for Matt Drudge, has started a new site called “Big Journalism” because apparently the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Meanwhile, in Washington, former bow-tie lover Tucker Carlson is launching a new conservative web site named The Daily Caller that will compete with Huffington Post, because – and this is a direct quote:

There just aren’t enough people covering this administration and telling the people what’s going on.

If you’re an editorial writer, there might be opportunities in this hyperpartisan atmosphere for a job – depending on your political leanings.

Doing Journalism in 2010 is an act of community organizing – Robert Niles points to a key point that often escapes print journalists when they start blogging or writing online:

So, your past earns you nothing online. Whatever audience you will have there, you must build yourself.
Now you’re a community organizer.

It’s a good read for any young journalist who is looking at working for an online site or startup. College media is uniquely geographically bound into the life of a campus. But a campus in itself is only one type of community. Overcoming the hurdle to understanding that there are literally hundreds of communities on a large campus can help you transition to the future of community journalism.

To our readers: Comments on local content suspended – The Bloomington, Ill. Pantagraph sent its online commenters to the penalty box this week.

So, effective immediately and through the New Year’s holiday weekend, no comments will be allowed on new local content posted on “cooling off” period is meant as a strong reminder to our online readers: that the reason comments are allowed in the first place is to foster a “spirit of community involvement and conversation.”

I actually like this approach. Too often, we think of comments as an either/or proposition. Either we let every jerk comment and let the comments become a cesspool, or we close down comments altogether. But this is something that truly engages the online community. It’s a short-term penalty for abusive commenting that treats commenters like adults. Comments have since been turned back on, and we’ll have to see how the time-out elevates the tone of discussion.

Multimedia Rules to Live By and Seven Steps to Training Yourself – Richard Koci Hernandez provides a tutorial that is just excellent. I wish I could quote the whole thing. But I especially like this part:

Screw professionalism. The *professional* only knows one way to do things. Always be the student. Always be learning. Practice, Practice, Practice. Do something everyday to make your skills better. Pay attention to what others are doing, dissect their videos and projects, LEARN. If you’re not practicing your craft or paying attention to what your competition is doing, then you’re losing the creative race.

This type of advice reminds me of Ira Glass on Storytelling, where he talks about “taste” and working to get to the highest levels of the craft.

Some thoughts on multimedia in a small market – Many college news outlets are not staffed by huge numbers of students, or producing daily newspapers. So Daniel Sato’s thoughts are worth attending to. I like this point about not just focusing on those who are interested in multimedia:

In the end though, it seems to me that it is those that are currently uninterested that will hold the key to whether or not multimedia truly takes off here. Perhaps it is overly optimistic of me, perhaps naive, but whether they are afraid of technology, beaten down by the daily grind or unhappy with putting out work that does not meet their standards of quality, the passion that brought them into the field is still there. It my job then, to find the right inspiration/motivation to get them excited about multimedia. The good thing is, once the ball starts rolling, things snowball.


Is journalism storytelling? – Jeff Jarvis stops talking about Google long enough to pounce on one of journalism’s sacred commandments – the journalist as storyteller. Go ahead and think about the concepts he discusses. Like the summary paragraph:

But if we continue to assume that our role is that of the storyteller, and to limit ourselves to that, then we risk closing ourselves off from forms of gathering and sharing information that do not end up in the form of stories, that are not structured and told. When we open ourselves up, we can think of journalists as enablers, as community organizers (not just of information but of a community’s ability to organize its own information), as teachers, as curators (how could I get through this without using the word at least once?), as filters, as tool makers, as algorithm writers.


Stay warm, people.