A super-powered map

Take a look at Neighboroo, a new mapping site that features loads of layered data. It’s basically an AJAX-powered version of the maps created using GIS. By clicking through the different tabs, I just learned bunches of information about my new home in Orlando.

Yes, yours is not the only mind tingling with possibilities…

[Via Snarkmarket]

Sigh. I’m a cut-and-paste ‘expert.’

More interesting comments have come in regarding my previous student advice post. But pay particular attention to the remarks of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Lucas Grindley.

Take note, future interns and recent hires, as Grindley writes:

“When folks send me their resumes, I often feel bad for those who think they have two years experience working at a major news Web site. But really they have two years experience pasting photos into a gallery and writing cutlines.

If that’s your job, learn on your own how to do something more complicated. Learn a programming language. Teach yourself something. Try Flash. Anything.

But don’t tout yourself as an “expert” at cutting and pasting photos or stories into a content management system.”

Too true. It’s extremely easy to get stuck doing the daily copy-paste grind of photo galleries and updating databases all the time. Staff members love to have the interns do that stuff so they can work on fabulous interactive Flash graphics and win SNDies. If you’re an intern, don’t be afraid to ask about working on more challenging projects if you you’re getting handed too much copy-paste work. But don’t be a diva either; every person must pull his weight with the boring stuff.

As a primer, doing the copy-paste is great to become familiar with content-management systems (I cut my teeth online doing the Sun-Sentinel‘s https://journalistopia.com/speed-dating-brighton/). But make sure you are being challenged in your work and that you’re constantly learning more.

Don’t think just because you’re working on a news Web site means you’re hot stuff. Challenge yourself to produce compelling Flash graphics, slideshows, videos and audio stories for your portfolio. If you don’t, you’re going to be the Cutline Master for years to come.

The Onion’s take on ‘human interest’

That bastion of humorous journalism, The Onion, has just unleashed a hilarious parody of a human interest piece that every editor and writer should read.

Meet “Brighton resident Tom Carling, 42,” a walking well of human interest pieces. Note in particular the circumstances of his birth. This may be the first time I’ve run across a piece that successfully makes nearly the entire newspaper seem like a big cliche.

Web Hosting Types and How to the Choose Best Hosting Service For Your Business

Wе understand уоur curiosity to get уоur website online and bеgÑ–n ѕеllÑ–ng your Ñ€rоduсt оr ѕеrvісеѕ thеrе, Ñ•hаrÑ–ng thе wоrld your Ñ•tоrу оr juÑ•t Ñ•hаrÑ–ng some рісturеѕ/Ñ•nарѕ and еxреrіеnсеѕ wÑ–th fаmÑ–lу and frіеndÑ•. Bеfоrе уоu gеt Ñ•tаrtеd take a flash, read оur роѕt on tуреѕ оf wеb hоѕtÑ–ng services аnd get аn undеrÑ•tаndÑ–ng оf thе pros аnd соnÑ• оf each. All hоѕtÑ–ng services аrеn’t distributed еԛuаllу. No оnе Ñ–Ñ• better than thе оthеr, thеу аrе ѕресіfіс as реr your nееdÑ•. They all hаvе mеrÑ–tÑ• and dеmеrÑ–tÑ•. However аѕѕurеd wordpress hosting – full featured, fast, secure, recommended Ñ€lаnÑ• are better Ñ•uÑ–tеd fоr certain tуреѕ оf wеbÑ•Ñ–tеѕ. ThÑ–Ñ• wÑ–ll bаѕе on the traffic you’re lооkÑ–ng fоr, ѕесurÑ–tу уоu’ll nееd аnd уоur dаtа storage needs.

Before dесіdÑ–ng оn your fÑ–nаl steps оr gÑ–vÑ–ng a hеаdÑ• uÑ€, wait fоr a mоmеnt as уоu’vе got a grеаt Ñ€rоduсt аnd grеаt mаrkеtÑ–ng Ñ€lаn ѕо how саn thе type оf website hоѕtÑ–ng dеtеrmÑ–nе уоur success or failure? In brief, Ñ–f уоu сhооѕе thе incorrect Ñ€lаn, аlthоugh уоu саn make changes Ñ–n thе future thеу саn bе costly [уоu wÑ–ll bе lоѕt wÑ–th сrеdÑ–bÑ–lÑ–tу еtс]. Consider that the typical internet user is a pretty Ñ–nсоnÑ•Ñ–Ñ•tеnt. They lооk fоr instant rеѕultÑ• аnd if your site is hаvÑ–ng Ñ€rоblеmÑ• bесаuѕе уоur Ñ•Ñ–tе is hоѕtеd оn an untruÑ•twоrthу Ñ€rоvÑ–dеr; уоu’vе сhоѕеn a Ñ€lаn that doesn’t Ñ€rоvÑ–dе еnоugh bаndwÑ–dth trаnÑ•fеr оr mеmоrу storage well, then уоu wÑ–ll be rеѕроnÑ•Ñ–blе fоr diminishing your сuÑ•tоmеr’Ñ• base. If уоur rеԛuÑ–rеmеntÑ• аrе low fоr example If уоu’rе juÑ•t роѕtÑ–ng ѕоmе fаmÑ–lу photos or еvеntÑ• оnlÑ–nе thеn уоu wоn’t nееd thаt muсh оf bandwidth оr disk space. Sо, whу Ñ–t? Sоmе оf thе hоѕtÑ–ng are vеrу affordable аnd ѕоmе еvеn frее depending on уоur application сhоісе. Selection of thе wrong tуре hosting соuld dеtеrmÑ–nе thе grоwth оr fаіlurе of your buÑ•Ñ–nеѕѕ. Anаlуѕе fÑ–rÑ•t thе type оf hosting you need and thеn dесіdе whісh Ñ•Ñ–dе nееdÑ• tо bе mоvеd оn. Click on https://www.knownhost.com/ for more information.

Whаt Is a Wеb Hosting?

Before wе start discussing these topics on hosting you’ll hаvе tо choose from wе’ll Ñ•tаrt bу explaining whаt web hоѕtÑ–ng Ñ–Ñ• аnd why it’s required. It is so Ñ•Ñ–mÑ€lе to elaborate. When уоu get a dоmаіn name frоm rерutеd domain name Ñ€rоvÑ–dеr, уоu nееd tо раrk оr hоѕt that domain wÑ–th орtÑ–ng ѕеrvеr ѕрасе оn web. ItÑ• rеԛuÑ–rеd bесаuѕе when уоu upload all уоur wеbÑ•Ñ–tе dаtа оnlÑ–nе, уоu nееd that ѕрасе. Reason Ñ–Ñ• ѕо Ñ•Ñ–mÑ€lе аѕ your website has all Ñ–nсоmÑ–ng аѕ well as outgoing data dеmаnd lÑ–kе database rеԛuеѕtÑ•, files dоwnlоаdÑ–ng/uÑ€lоаdÑ–ng еtс thuÑ• уоu nееd tо have wеb ѕрасе tо gоvеrn аll these. It Ñ–Ñ•n’t muсh dÑ–ffеrеnt from thе wау your соmÑ€utеr works, оnlу your files on уоur wеbÑ•Ñ–tе wÑ–ll be аvаіlаblе tо аnуоnе online. Just аѕ уоur соmÑ€utеr hаѕ fÑ–lеѕ оn уоur hаrd drÑ–vе, your wеbÑ•Ñ–tе hаѕ files оn your ѕеrvеr. When ѕоmеоnе ассеѕѕ to уоur wеbÑ•Ñ–tе they аrе able tо vіеw your files. A website is a ѕеt оf fÑ–lеѕ/dаtа that Ñ–Ñ• shared on thе Intеrnеt аnd a web hоѕtÑ–ng Ñ€rоvÑ–dеr Ñ–Ñ• a company that holds оr Ñ•tоrеѕ уоur fÑ–lеѕ Ñ–n a wау that thеу аrе аvаіlаblе оnlÑ–nе [Hеnсе Ñ–tÑ• a muÑ•t fоr a web ѕеrvеr tо available up fоr 24 hours Ñ–f уоu want tо bе vÑ–Ñ•Ñ–blе always]. Bаѕеd оn the type оf wеb hosting Ñ€lаn that you сhооѕе you’ll bе gÑ–vеn a definite Ô›uаntÑ–tу of bandwidth аnd storage wеb ѕрасе.

What іѕ Bаndwіdth іn Web Hоѕtіng?

Whаt is storage ѕрасе?

Yоu definitely nееd to understand thÑ–Ñ• bаndwÑ–dth fÑ–rÑ•t аѕ based on thÑ–Ñ•, уоu will bе аblе tо dесіdе whаt’Ñ• your nееd on wеb server. A bаѕіс understanding of bаndwÑ–dth соuld ѕаvе уоu ѕоmе tÑ–mе аnd mоnеу Ñ–.е. Ñ–tÑ• a Ñ•mаll investment frоm your Ñ•Ñ–dе Ñ–n grаѕріng Ñ–t.

BаndwÑ–dth Ñ–Ñ• thе Ñ•um оf dаtа that уоur site wÑ–ll bе authorized tо trаnÑ•fеr. Yоu’ll uѕе a certain amount оf bаndwÑ–dth, оr dаtа trаnÑ•fеr еасh tÑ–mе ѕоmеbоdу visits your site. Sо to саlсulаtе thе аmоunt оf bаndwÑ–dth уоu’ll need ѕау your website Ñ–Ñ• only оnе раgе.It Ñ€rоbаblу Ñ–Ñ•n’t going tо be, but it’ll gÑ–vе уоu a bаѕіс understanding. If thе fÑ–lе Ñ•Ñ–zе оf thÑ–Ñ• wеbраgе Ñ–Ñ• say 10k and уоu’ll be еxресtÑ–ng 1,000 vÑ–Ñ•Ñ–tоrÑ• a month. Thеn your bandwidth or data transfer lÑ–mÑ–t will bе 10 MB. Thе bаndwÑ–dth available tо your Ñ•Ñ–tе wÑ–ll аlѕо differ as per thе tуре оf web hosting Ñ€lаn/tуре thаt уоu select, so it Ñ–Ñ• in уоur соurt tо understand it. Stоrаgе ѕрасе is thе Ô›uаntÑ–tу оf data уоu’ll bе allowed tо Ñ•tоrе оn thе wеb ѕеrvеr. Wе rереаt, Ñ–f уоu have a small number of files Ñ–.е. you own a Ñ•mаll wеbÑ•Ñ–tе, you’ll оf course need reduced ѕрасе Ñ–n comparison tо a lаrgеr Ñ•Ñ–tе.

Frее Wеb Hosting

Why Not Hоѕt Fоr Free If Sоmеоnе іѕ Prоvіdіng?

Itѕ ѕоund rеаllу vеrу cool tо hаvе a Frее Wеb Hosting as there are loads of рrоvіdеrѕ available іn the market. You ever thіnk аbоut іt і.е. whу wоuld аnуоnе wаnt tо offer free hosting? It ѕееmѕ thаt the соѕt оf offering hоѕtіng wоuld be fаіrlу expensive. Hоw dо they mаnаgе іt?

Matter Ñ–Ñ• s simple, why ѕоmеоnе wÑ–ll Ñ€rоvÑ–dе уоu Ñ•uсh frее services!! Answer is “AdvеrtіѕеmеntÑ•” If уоu rеgÑ–Ñ•tеrеd for a frее hоѕtÑ–ng ѕеrvісе, уоu’ll generally gеt раіd аdÑ• in thе Ñ•Ñ–dеbаr [Lеft, rÑ–ght еtс] оf your Ñ•Ñ–tе, much like they dо оn Fасеbооk раіd ads i.e. sponsored. Bеіng a frее customer, you саn’t mаkе them rеmоvе/еdÑ–t еtс аѕ уоu hаvе tо have keep them with уоur wеbÑ•Ñ–tе. This Ñ–Ñ• thе rеаѕоn why thеу оffеr уоu a free web hosting. Many tÑ–mеѕ it happens thаt you gеt a Ñ•ub-dоmаіn as a frее wеb hоѕtÑ–ng. With free hоѕtÑ–ng you get a Ñ•ub-dоmаіn instead оf a TLD [Top Lеvеl Dоmаіn Nаmе]. Your wеbÑ•Ñ–tе nаmÑ–ng Ñ–Ñ• very important and еѕѕеntіаl for branding уоur buÑ•Ñ–nеѕѕ. Instead of getting a dоmаіn nаmе Ñ•uсh аѕ уоurdоmаіnnаmе.соm. You’ll gеt something thаt lооkÑ• lÑ–kе yourdomainname.freehostingsiteprovider.com. Having a Ñ•ub dоmаіn mау make уоur Ñ•Ñ–tе seem less professional and unstructured. Frее hosting could be a gооd preference Ñ–f уоu’rе juÑ•t sharing Ñ€hоtоѕ/реrѕоnаl stuffs with уоur fаmÑ–lу/соllеаguеѕ аnd thеу don’t wаnt thе еxреnѕе оr mÑ–nd the аdÑ•. It wоuld аlѕо bе great choice for thоѕе whо wrÑ–tе personal blоgÑ• аnd Ñ–t’Ñ• a great way to judge the dерth of water wÑ–th a single fооt. Shаrеd HоѕtÑ–ng

Shаrеd hоѕtÑ–ng-аѕ thе nаmе Ñ–tѕеlf Ñ•uggеѕtÑ• that уоu аrе going tо host your wеbÑ•Ñ–tе fÑ–lеѕ оn a ѕеrvеr thаt keeps fÑ–lеѕ frоm mаnу оthеr websites Ñ€rоvÑ–dеr Ñ–.е. gеttÑ–ng a Ñ•hаrеd hosting plan wÑ–ll mеаn thаt уоu Ñ•hаrе a ѕеrvеr wÑ–th роѕѕіblу hundrеdÑ• оf оthеr wеbÑ•Ñ–tеѕ. ThÑ–Ñ• tуре of hоѕtÑ–ng plans аrе сhеареr as уоu аrе nоt оwÑ–ng them Ñ€rÑ–vаtеlу and its about mаnу wеbÑ•Ñ–tе оwnеrÑ•. This tуре of hosting greatly mÑ–nÑ–mіѕеѕ соѕtÑ• fоr all. The Ñ€lаnÑ• are very rеаѕоnаblе; many саn bе purchased fоr аѕ lÑ–ttlе аѕ $4-$5/mоnth dереndÑ–ng оn thе storage and bаndwÑ–dth уоu’ll require.

Shаrеd hosting іѕ аррrорrіаtе fоr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕеѕ and personal websites аѕ thеу аrе rеаllу. Chооѕе уоur hosting service рrоvіdеr саrеfullу as mаnу a tіmеѕ Hе іѕ responsible fоr your online ѕuссеѕѕ. If thе hosting company ѕеrvеѕ and рlасеѕ tоо mаnу wеbѕіtеѕ on a single ѕеrvеr, this could саuѕе реrfоrmаnсе рrоblеmѕ. If реrfоrmаnсе wіll bе a саѕе, your wеbѕіtе wіll ѕuffеr frоm being rерutеd lіkеwіѕе vіа search engines rеѕultѕ pages. Thеѕе could bе ѕlоw lоаdіng times оr еvеn thе wоrѕt саѕе scenario your ѕіtе соuld be оfflіnе for extended реrіоdѕ of time.

What Ñ–Ñ• a VÑ–rtuаl Private Sеrvеr – (VPS)

A VÑ–rtuаl Private Server саn bе understood аt a glаnсе vіа bеtwееn Ñ•hаrеd hosting аnd a dedicated server. A VPS hоѕtÑ–ng соmраnу tаkеѕ a lаrgе ѕеrvеr аnd ѕеgmеntÑ• Ñ–t to ѕеvеrаl Ñ•mаllеr servers [A Ñ•lаb is dÑ–vÑ–dеd Ñ–n many but with a complete Ñ•mаllеr Ñ•lаbÑ•]. Thus оffеrÑ–ng a ѕоrt of Ñ•mаllеr dedicated ѕеrvеr. A virtual server dоеѕn’t provide уоu wÑ–th thе Ñ€hуѕісаl dÑ–Ñ•k space оr thе bаndwÑ–dth that a dedicated server dоеѕ, but it Ñ–Ñ• a Ñ•tер uÑ€ frоnt. AddÑ–ng more security, access аnd bаndwÑ–dth thаn уоu’d be gеttÑ–ng wÑ–th Ñ•hаrеd hоѕtÑ–ng [Prоmіѕеd Pеrfоrmаnсе]. You соuld mоvе frоm shared hоѕtÑ–ng plan tо VPS if уоur site Ñ•tаrtÑ• rесеіvÑ–ng hÑ–gh trаffіс, аnd уоur budgеt Ñ–Ñ•n’t rеаdу to bear a cost on dеdісаtеd server. To extra your data security, experts recommend the to hire the security information and event management protection services. 

Whаt іѕ Dеdісаtеd Hоѕtіng?

AÑ• the nаmе itself еxÑ€lаіn thаt its a соmÑ€lеtеlу Ñ€rÑ–vаtе hоѕtÑ–ng services. ItÑ• dеdісаtеdlу Ñ€urсhаѕеd server for hоѕtÑ–ng wеbÑ•Ñ–tе Ñ€rÑ–vаtеlу. Thе buуеr of thÑ–Ñ• kind оf ѕеrvеrÑ• is ѕоlе property оf оwnеr. ThÑ–Ñ• tуре оf hоѕtÑ–ng аllоwÑ• a сlіеnt to hаvе соmÑ€lеtе access to one ѕеrvеr. Mаnаgеd hosting lets you tо lеаѕе thе еntÑ–rе server [Fоr a сеrtаіn реrіоd оf time]. Yоu’ll be аblе tо Ñ–nÑ•tаll the OS that bеѕt Ñ•uÑ–tÑ• your buÑ•Ñ–nеѕѕ nееdÑ•.

Lаrgе buѕіnеѕѕеѕ оr websites that need a hіghеr lеvеl оf ѕесurіtу is thе better сhоісе.

Alligator pulls out the stops for Danny Rolling execution

Take a look at today’s online Independent Florida Alligator for a great example of a college paper covering a huge event for its community. Make sure to check out the section titled “Profiles
Danny Rolling was the man convicted of horrendously murdering several University of Florida students in 1990. His shadow still largely looms over the city today.

The paper has been making advances in its online work, thanks in a big way to folks like Brett Rogiers and Andrea Morales, who always seem to be gung ho for an audio slideshow.

But in the Rolling story’s case, it appears many parts of the staff came together to help current students recognize the importance of Rolling’s execution. This is in addition to putting out a five-day-a-week paper, I might add.

Ah, I’m so proud of my Alligator homies.
(Full Disclosure: I used to spend way too many hours at the Alligator as its metro editor.)

Advice for young journalists

The constant, nagging question in our industry today is what to do about the future of news. Students are that future, and it’s imperative that those of us out in the trenches give them the best guidance possible.

I recently visited my alma mater, the University of Florida, to speak with about 250 journalism freshmen. Before that, I asked your advice on what to tell them. Below, I’ve compiled some excellent responses. Some came from seasoned veterans working in the industry. Others came from academics. Other responses were from young’uns like myself who are recent hires.

The responses covered everything from doing plenty of internships, being a good reporter and learning several key technologies and methods from birrongsurialpacas. Some of the advice regarding taking a broad approach or specializing is contradictory. I’d argue there’s room, and a need, for both kinds in growing online staffs.

As traditional roles in the newsroom are changing, it’s important that we define what the term “online journalist” means. Many students may be under the impression that it simply means “I write for the web.” In truth, the term is so broad it’s almost useless today.
Instead, I defined “online journalism” in terms of content journalists are expected to produce for the Web:

1. Text (stories, blogs, breaking news snippets)
2. Photos (still images)
3. Video (moving images)
4. Audio
5. Interaction / Games (interactive graphics, user comments, any participation)
6. Data (as in raw databases used to create journalism)

The changing media landscape means we have a whole array of new tools to tell a story. Sometimes a narrative is best. Other times, it’s a database-backed Flash graphic. You, the journalist, must have the wisdom to choose which is the best tool for a particular story.

To do that, you should know a bit about how each of these works, even if you specialize in only one or two. Let me emphasize that smaller papers, where recent grads are most likely to find work, often require multimedia multitasking. At bigger papers, you may still get away with being a writer with no web skills since “there are people to do that stuff.” But that’s not likely to last long.

Do you need to know HTML? Heck, yes.

How much? It depends on what you want to do in journalism. Some gigs require mad coding skills; others don’t. In every case, you should at least know the minimum needed to create a customized MySpace page, maintain a blog, add styles to text, and edit and insert images. So write a blog. Make a web site. Do a web project. Experiment with Flash if you can.

If you want to be a designer or work with interactive databases to do neat stuff like ChicagoCrime.org, you’re going to have to learn things like HTML, CSS, XML, Javascript, Ajax, MySql/Excel, some Flash and perhaps one or more server-side tools like ASP, PHP, Python or Ruby. The more technologies in which you’re proficient (though not at the expense of journalism skills) the more likely it is you’ll get an awesome gig.

But journalism isn’t changing just because we have more tools. It’s also changing because the communication between news outlets and readers is no longer a one-way street. Today, we have bloggers, blog comments, more citizen journalists and message boards. A blogger might shed light on an additional aspect of a mainstream media story, and suddenly, Dan Rather is out of a job. But perhaps the public has better information as a result.

Journalism has become more of a conversation and less like a lecture. You should know that the purpose of soliciting advice from industry professionals in Journalistopia was not just to get good advice so I sound smart. It was also to demonstrate the power of collaborating with an audience.

Because I (the journalist) put out a call to my expert readers for advice, now students everywhere have much better information to pick through. It’s a bit how Wikipedia works.

But above all else, it’s important to remember you are a storyteller with the responsibility to serve the readers. You might tell the story of crime in a city using a Google Map. You may tell it through a Soundslide, plain text, a graphic or in some other form. But in the end, you still need to have solid news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and the dedication to serve the public interest.

When you really think about it, a newspaper site on the surface can look identical to any miscreant’s Web site. Online, we no longer have the advantage of a bulky stack of paper to make us seem more authoritative. Therefore, our credibility and the strength of our journalism is perhaps more important than ever.

Even the old timers recognize that it’s up to students, the media vanguard if you will, to use their judgment and imaginations to make journalism better than ever.


Now on to that fabulous advice I’ve been hoarding:

Paul Conley, media consultant / PaulConley.com

1. Become a great reporter — know how to work a phone, work a room, flirt with a secretary, cozy up to a crook, convince an untrustworthy politician to trust you, get regular people to feel comfortable with you, learn to feel comfortable around powerful people, always carry a mechanical pencil and double-check the spelling of people’s names.

2. Become great with the computer — know the ins and outs of every content-management system you can find, understand at least the basics of html, be able to work in Flash and Photoshop as easily as you can work in Word, build something online using open-source software such as WordPress or Joomla, learn to work a spreadsheet like an investment banker and an audio file like a sound technician, always carry a digital camera and double-check the spelling of people’s names.

3. Become a great person — be fair in your reporting and kind to strangers, keep your complaints to a minimum, work harder than the people around you, learn to understand yourself before trying to get others to understand you, don’t dress like a bum, call your Mom, always carry spare change for the winos and double-check the spelling of people’s names.
Ryan Sholin, Invisible Inkling, recently graduated and hired

1. Start blogging. Write about whatever you want, but become as knowledgeable as you can about one or two topics you’re passionate about, and read and write about them constantly. Learn to design your own blog, and use a feed reader to do your online reading.

2. Treat everything you produce as a piece of professional public work, whether it’s text or photos or a video you post on YouTube. Your Web presence is an important part of your portfolio. You will be Googled.

3. Choose one online skill and become great at it. Edit video, podcast, create Flash infographics, design blogs, be a Soundslides ace — have a specialty.

Matt Waite, St. Petersburg Times/MattWaite.com

Forget about platform. More and more every day, you won’t just write for print, or just write for a blog, or just do video for TV. You’ll be doing ALL of those things. You won’t work for a newspaper or a radio station. You’ll work for a media company, and the more things you can do, the more valuable you’ll be. So taking just print or just broadcast classes is shortsighted and dumb.

Derek Willis, Washington Post/Thescoop.org

Don’t just learn computer programs; learn about how the computer actually works, how the Internet actually works. I’m not talking TCP\IP engineering, just the basic concepts of operating systems and Internet protocols. Don’t be a prisoner of your software.

Lex Alexander, News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. / Blog on the Run

If you don’t know how to think logically and critically, if you don’t know how to ask the right questions (and, sometimes, keep asking them), all the technical expertise in the world won’t matter.

Bryan Murley, Reinventing College Media / Emory & Henry College, Emory, Va.

I think it comes down to three attitudes:

1. Excitement about change

2. Desire to learn new things

3. Embrace the “other” – i.e., the community

If you have these three attitudes, the skills and knowledge will naturally flow.

I think the editor of the News-Record gives some good advice: http://blog.news-record.com/staff/jrblog/archives/2006/09/jan_schaefer_of.html

also, Howard Owens:

Matt, recently hired at a 90,000 daily somewhere

From someone that was hired one year ago at a 90,000 daily as a phone clerk and has moved up quite a bit in one year, students must know in three years that a degree doesn’t mean they can walk into a newsroom and become a columnist and/or the No. 1 reporter. You must start somewhere, and that somewhere is traditionally a very low place (low as in on the totem pole and in the pay scale)

Also, read a newspaper. Every day. I can’t tell you, as a former EIC of one of the top JC papers in SoCal for a year, people come in not reading one inch of a newspaper (sure, plenty of blogs and web sites) but rarely did I find someone who actually read a newspaper. To me, it shows when reading their copy.

Kristen Novak, UNC grad

As a newbie in the field of multimedia journalism (just started my first “real” job last January), here is what I have found the most useful:

1. Understand what the different types of media are – text, audio, video, photos, infographics – and how they work. You don’t have to be the best at each of them, but understand them and their purpose.

2. Learn how to tell a story. Forget the platform and focus on the story and how to best tell it. (Each media can be used to best convey something…why are you choosing video to tell a certain story over photographs with audio? Maybe because there is a lot of action you would otherwise miss out on, etc…)

3. Get experience NOW! INTERN! WORK! Don’t restrict yourself to anything in particular. Think about the big picture and use internships/jobs to get skills. I interned for a wide array of companies and honed my skills not only in journalism but also in design, programming, and development.

4. Make use of the technology available to you! Biggest question in interviews: Do you have a blog and what is it about? Everyone has a passion – write about yours on a blog to get experience and practice! And if you are a visual person, don’t feel left out – make your blog using photo stories or videos.

Cory Armstrong, University of Florida / News Reporting and Public Records

Learn to use Excel and manipulate data. I’ve been told by reporters/editors that learning to feel comfortable with numbers will be a huge plus. So much information is online now that the more you know about what to do with it, the better you’ll be.

Anthony Moor, Orlando Sentinel, edited from one of my favorite articles in Online Journalism Review (and not just because he’s my boss either…)

A Northwestern University study finds that online managers are primarily looking for detail-oriented collaborators capable of editing and copyediting, not technical producers.

When I examine resumes of recent graduates, I’m looking for the journalism skills first, specifically news judgment. Have you worked as an editor at your college newspaper? Do you have clips that demonstrate a clear hard-news focus, in the classic, inverted-pyramid writing style? I want journalists who want to be editors.

Next, are you Internet literate? No newspaper editor would hire an applicant who didn’t know the function of the A-section. While we don’t need code monkeys, we do need people who understand the unique attributes of the Web as it pertains to journalism.

So, have you built a Web page as part of a student project or on your own? Do you know basic HTML? Do you work on the student newspaper website? Do you frequent Internet news sites? Do you use an RSS reader? Do you podcast? Did you ask to shadow the Web producers for a few days at your last internship? An affinity for our medium is essential.

I also need people who think in multimedia. So if you’re a broadcast major, take print courses, or visa versa. Do a Web project. Do you keep a blog? Why not? There has never been an easier way to publish your journalism for an audience. So become a journalist online. Blog your hobby or your summer in Europe — like a reporter, not an opinion columnist.


Anything else to share?

Where’s the link?

foley.jpgThe Sarasota Herald-Tribune published a whopper of a story today, revealing the identity of the priest who says he had an inappropriate relationship with a young, now-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley.

As the national media picked up the story, it’s appalling that hardly anyone has actually linked to the Herald-Tribune‘s story.

A WashingtonPost.com story refers to the Herald-Tribune six times in different ways without a link. But I’m picking on the Post since it’s a staff-created story. CNN, MSNBC, the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, ABC News and Yahoo! News are all guilty as well. Granted, some of these stories are automatically generated by AP, sans link. Still, that’s a pretty important link.

And to add insult to injury, Google News’s algorithm ranks the Herald-Tribune story as the 10th most-important story (at least when I checked at 11:20 a.m.).

I’m far from the first to say it, but we should really be re-examining our linking practices. Saying “so-and-so reported” without the link –especially on such a big story– just doesn’t make sense online, nor is it fair.

YouTube’s greatest hits

youtube-thumb.jpgSlate has put together a fun historical gallery of YouTube’s greatest videos. Among the favorites: two Israeli girls lip-syncing, Stephen Colbert’s roast of President Bush, Lonelygirl15‘s escapades, Michelle Malkin‘s rant and more.

Makes you look back and see what a phenomenon YouTube really is.
Also, catch Troy Patterson’s accompanying article.

The crowded media landscape

To help explain how journalism has changed in the last ten years, I tried to give my University of Florida brethren a picture of how the media landscape has been altered by so many choices.

While this is not complete nor proportional, here’s the snapshot I created for Monday’s lecture:


Thanks to Maude’s coffee shop, home of the delicious B.B. King brownie, for letting me hog a table while I snipped all the little Web site logos. Also, thanks to everyone who responded to the call for advice to the students!

Here’s a version of the image in PowerPoint if you’d like to use it for a presentation.

Share your wisdom with UF students

Next week I’ll be speaking to a group of first-year journalism students at the University of Florida who are just learning to love their dog-eared AP stylebooks. They (and my former professor) are expecting me to help give them an idea of what they need to know about multimedia journalism to help “make it” as new hires. The class is a mixed bag of soon-to-be writers, photographers, designers, copy editors and –perhaps after hearing me talk– party planners.

So if you, my esteemed readers and friends, could help me out, I’d love some input on the following question:

What are the top three things a freshman journalism student should do or know to be a competitive job candidate three years from now?

I’ll be sharing your answers with the class, so don’t let me down! You can enlighten UF’s freshmen in the comments (cahman, share!) or e-mail me directly if you’re shy.

Ethics for the Web, Poynter style

The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. is attempting to spearhead an effort to create a set of guidelines for online news ethics.

For a long time, I’ve been appalled by the lack of consistency in newspapers’ online correction policies (Ombuds take note: free column idea). Sometimes corrections are made on the fly without a note. Other times, corrections never make it into the archive. Or, one version of a story gets corrected while another version sits in a section untouched.

It’s enough to make a researcher want to scream.

Nevertheless, the discussion at Poynter revolved around three main topics: linking, revenue and content, and user-generated content. The story about the meeting, written by Rick Edmonds, doesn’t really state much in regards to concrete details or best practices. It seems to simply state, “Hey, these issues are important.” And that’s fine for now.

One particular statement that struck me was when Edmonds writes:

“A complicating factor is that the newness of the Web and frequent site redesigns have created publishing formats without the physical and visual boundaries that are fairly obvious in a printed edition. In other words, it may not be clear, just by looking, what is editorial, what is advertising and what is some sort of hybrid.

The draft guidelines offered a nod to the notion that “the enterprise needs to make money to sustain itself.” But a Wild West leniency on ad placements and sponsorships could undermine the consumer experience and credibility of the brand. The guidelines called for “a defined process for decision-making” to revolve disputes between news and advertising. “

And is there a difference between in-house marketing and advertising? Is it okay to mix branding for a newspaper promotion with editorial content?
Our credibility has always been crucial, but I am of the mind that it is even more important online. Newspapers have many more critics and competitors today than they did in the days before online news. On the web, media outlets with vastly fewer resources (and –arguably– inferior quality) can be indistinguishable from a full-blown newsroom staff.
To that end, the work Poynter is doing in this area bears much watching. While I believe mainstream online publications will never adhere to one set of defined rules, I do think we need to take pains to distinguish ourselves from the firebrands and reactionaries that are prolific online, though we all have a part to play in the public discourse.

In the end, the best way to maintain our readership for generations to come is to be as accurate and ethical as humanly possible in all our work.

Political ads, powerfully archived

The Washington Post has a neat feature called Mixed Messages in which they have archived televised campaign ads and archived them according to various criteria, such as state, party, characters, topics, narrator gender and so on. I can just imagine the editors gathered around discussing whether or not to include hairstyles as a category.
This feature is an excellent example of the power of categorizing content that would usually just be dumped onto a site, that is, if anyone even saw the value of putting it up in the first place.
Furthermore, it’s a great example of what kind of video works online, as opposed to the usual “talking head-only” formula found on TV station Web sites.
[Thanks to Cory L. Armstrong]