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It's not the end, it's just the beginning

Posts tagged Journalism

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If you happen to be reading this article online, you’ll notice that right above it, there is a button labeled “like.” Please stop reading and click on “like” right now.
Thank you. I feel much better. It’s good to be liked.
Don’t forget to comment on, tweet, blog about and StumbleUpon this article. And be sure to “+1” it if you’re on the newly launched Google+ social network. In fact, if you don’t want to read the rest of this article, at least stay on the page for a few minutes before clicking elsewhere. That way, it will appear to the site analytics as if you’ve read the whole thing.
From Neil Strauss’ article "The Insidious Evils of ‘Like’ Culture" in The Wall Street Journal. And yes, I’m aware how ironic it is that I am sharing that article with you, but he makes some good points. So go read it, just don’t like it.

Filed under journalism social media web 2.0 Facebook Twitter

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Why can't journalists spell?

That’s the question 23-year-old Danielle Ryan asked in a recent blog post of hers, quoting an article in the Irish Times:

It is a sad day when journalism schools need to teach basic English grammar and spelling.

“When we talk about declining literary standards … what I mean is that in the context of everybody having a B in honours English, which is a high standard, there is a surprisingly high proportion who can’t spell or who don’t properly understand words…”

This would seem to reveal that students are given A and B results in English papers, even with numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes. This in turn would reveal that they have been let away with handing up crappy pieces of “English” for six years prior to taking their final exams.

She also slams the “excuses” she believes she’ll get from media publications as to why such mistakes, and more, exist in copy online (and presumably in print):

No doubt if I was to engage in a discussion with the editor of a horribly edited website or newspaper she/he would try to pawn me off with stories of how these days they “don’t have time”, everything is so “immediate” and we are living in the “24 hour news cycle” where “Twitter rules” and journalists “simply don’t have time”, they just need to “keep up”.

And then she hits her message home with this:

If you have time to spell something incorrectly, you have time to spell it correctly.

Agree? Disagree?

Filed under journalism web 2.0 media journalism students

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Why I will no longer work for free

This article is written by Bethany Horne, who just finished her bachelor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

She writes (emphasis mine):

I had to do an internship, to earn the right to graduate, so I didn’t fret over the ethical implications at the time.I do, now. Because my friends who had to do a short internship to graduate are now doing summer-long or longer ones, with no job in sight. The first foot in the door was kicked out, I guess.

It’s a sign of the times that a lot of journalists are not hired on after they complete their internships. I can’t say I think this is a bad thing, because I don’t.

Back in the days where everyone who seemingly had an internship had a job offered to them after said internship doesn’t strike me as right either. You should earn your job — not have it handed it to you.

Many people I know who interned somewhere invariably find work after said internship somewhere else. Who’s to say that internship that didn’t result in a job at the company where they interned didn’t play a part in them getting a job elsewhere?

Horne continues (again, my emphasis):

Unpaid internships may make the fortress accessible, sometimes, sure. But they only make it accessible to some people, the kind of people who are already over-represented inside. Those who can afford to work for free. So the young people who don’t come from the city, and who don’t come from money, are shit-out-of-luck. And what of anybody who has to support a family, either here or back home wherever home may be? We know of the taxi driver doctors, but how easy is it for a first generation immigrant to get into our media? They won’t do it through a lowly internship, that’s for sure.

I debated the whole paid-internship vs. unpaid internship thing in a blog post I wrote last year with Liem Vu (who’s interning at the Star this summer), so I won’t delve into it all again here, but I’ll reiterate: I’m not against unpaid internships.

Should papers owned by media giants pay their interns? Undoubtedly. But by writing off all unpaid internships, you could miss a great opportunity with a small startup or website.

For my first summer in Toronto in 2006, I interned with andpop.com. I was paid a small honourarium (maybe $500 for the entire summer) and my TTC costs were covered, but the tradeoff was well worth it. I got to interview celebrities and I got to write about the entertainment business, which was my dream writing gig. I was able to work the internship around my part-time job in the city and the summer university classes I took.

I’m not rich, but I’m glad I took that unpaid internship. It made me more confident in what I do and gave me a taste of what it might be like working for an entertainment publication full-time.

And there still are plenty of places that pay their interns — I currently intern for one of them.

Not all internships are bad, even the unpaid ones. Friends of mine who have taken unpaid internships at bigger papers didn’t regret it — and they didn’t come from privilege.

Experience is experience and the hungrier you are to get in the business, the more you are willing to do whatever it takes to do so — even if that means working at McDonald’s to pay the bills while you work at your unpaid internship during the day.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts: Should unpaid internships be written off completely?

Filed under journalism media internship new grads newspapers

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Coverage of the Anthony Weiner scandal was last week’s most-covered story, filling 17% of the newshole according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. It ranks as fourth all-time since PEW starting tracking news in January 2007 (the scandal surrounding former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is No. 1).
Two thoughts:
1) I wonder how much would Bill Clinton’s sex scandal have eaten up if PEW was tracking things then?
2) Is it odd that I expected Weiner-gate to take up more of the newshole?

Coverage of the Anthony Weiner scandal was last week’s most-covered story, filling 17% of the newshole according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. It ranks as fourth all-time since PEW starting tracking news in January 2007 (the scandal surrounding former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is No. 1).

Two thoughts:

1) I wonder how much would Bill Clinton’s sex scandal have eaten up if PEW was tracking things then?

2) Is it odd that I expected Weiner-gate to take up more of the newshole?

Filed under journalism newspapers coverage media television news

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Is 'checkbook journalism' the new normal?

An interesting article in the New York Times about the so-called “checkbook journalism” that seems to be running rampant at U.S. television networks today. The article comes on the heels of ABC paying up to $15,000 to get photos from Meagan Broussard — one of the women who sent Anthony Weiner photos of herself (and ABC anchor Chris Cuomo defending the payout).

Filed under journalism media U.S. networks ABC NBC state of the media

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Of course I was in the wrong. I made a horrible decision at 1am when I was tired, but I know it was not worth throwing away a career. After the Oprah incident, I felt this one had to be solid. But I have no excuse. I know the rules.
Paige Wiser, who was fired by the Chicago Sun-Times after fabricating facts in her review of Glee Live. Wiser had worked at the paper for 17 years.

Filed under journalism ethics