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Are newsrooms getting prematurely young?" There is a general generational shift occuring now and journalism is certainly implicated. It has long been a practice in corporations to cut the 50-somethings and hire 20-somethings at half the salary. There's a generational shift just at the same time there is a technological shift of immense proportions. The lesson for all involved: Be light on your feet.

Posted June 28, 2006

Change, change, and change. This is what we are experiencing. If you're interested in what is going on in journalism check out the Carnegie Corporation's "Journalism's Crisis of Confidence" Report. It's 84 pages and in PDF format. It evokes the "Crisis of Confidence" speech by Jimmy Carter back in the late 70's. And what followed the American crisis of confidence? Twenty years of conservatism, Reagan, fundamentalists, a profound decline in the public sector. Whether this crisis will result in the radical changes as the other did remains to be seen.

A lot of the media crisis implicates the restructuring of journalism schools. Some points:

  • Journalism needs to develop competent journalists who recommit themselves to the authentic role of journalism which is to ascertain the facts with regard to the acts of power.
  • A kind of reorganization of journalism culture is taking place. It senses acute vulnerabilities; one of them being how easily journalism can be thwarted by the infomachines in political parties, corporations, and other interested parties.
  • Make journalism schools the equivilent of entry-level journalism jobs.
  • The ethnic press, blogging, alternative press, and streaming news feeds are booming while traditional media is lagging.
  • The young have no loyalty to any media institution.

The instincts of the profession are right on target. "What are the core values of journalism and how do those core values survive the shake-out going on in media?"

Despite the fact we appear to be swimming in a dark pool of blood, what is happening to journalism is typical of a period of innovation and will mark every major institution through time. The Internet is a huge platform for creativity. It simply permits creativity to build-out, experiment, find models that work, go up learning curves while the establishment bends, shapes, twists itself and everything it can manipulate in order to survive. One day, and it will be a swift day, the innovations will be ready and boom.....

Posted June 23, 2006

Amy Gahran reports that Canadian papers are cutting jobs. She also makes an astute observation that those nimble with new journalism skills will succeed over those stuck in the past.

Have a job interview coming up? Take heed of these five fundementals to prepare for.

If you're stuck in the job search try out a few of these techniques from the California Job Journal.

Posted June 21, 2006

Young journalists have to be aware of the sort of convergence now occuring in the newsroom. Here, the Washington Post is outfitting its reporters with cameras so their stories carry the kind of heft online readers expect.

If you are a young reporter for any medium read this checklist by Peter Zuckerman, a young journalist who is interviewed by Poynter.org about "being the youngest journalist in the newsroom."

Speaking of young writers, a few of them are using the community-based MySpace.com to find each other and editors.

Posted June 20, 2006

Any writer or editor interested in how best to approach the idea of online news should read this wiki from Online Journalism Review. If you are preparing yourself for a writing job or journalism job grasp all of this as a leverage in the new job market being created for writers.

Posted June 13, 2006

Even though this article was written several years ago it's a great narrative of a young journalist's first job. The vast majority of people go through experiences like this. Pity those who don't.

Posted June 12, 2006

The International Federation of Journalists report on a trend of "experienced senior staff being replaced by younger graduates who are often employed on a casual or freelance basis and on less pay."

"The report also documents a trend toward the privatisation of state media and said younger journalists were being hired in new areas of employment, including new media and some areas of the developing world where media ownership is expanding. As a result, journalists' average rate of pay appears to have declined in real terms over the past five years."

You can get a PDF copy of the report from the link above.

Posted June 9, 2006

Are you a young person looking for a writing job or journalism job? Read the thoughts of a young journalist making a transition from college to the job market. In a nutshell, "learn as much as you can while in college because you're on your own in the real world."

We got a question from a young high school student who wanted to dedicate herself to journalism. How was she going to prepare for this career in college? One thing we recommended was she learn to use the computer. This article from The Online Journalism Review site has great advice in ways to use the computer and internet in the pursuit of journalism.

Posted June 7, 2006

Blogging is having a continual influence on newspapers. "To date, interest in blogging categories seems to be leaning away from politics and hard news and more toward lifestyle categories such as travel, shopping, parenting and book reviews." Obviously newspapers are looking to fill a need. So, writers out there with a slant on some of these categories, be prepared!

Posted June 5, 2006

Is the newspaper industry failing young journalists? Ken Krayeske thinks so and here's why.

Washington Post's Gene Weingarten gave a commencement speech recently to graduates of University of Maryland College of Journalism. "What are your challenges, specifically? Let us begin with, quote unquote, getting a job. Good jobs in journalism have become scarce as newspapers shrink and die, broadcast media fragment to smaller niche audiences and the public appears more and more willing to receive its "news" online from nincompoops ranting in their underpants." Do you wish to read the words of a classic embittered, cynical journalist? Click on the link.

Things are only bad for old guys who thought the world was going to be one way. The journalism and writing professions are going to be very vibrant in the years to come with immense opportunities for those who can navigate this "changing of the literary system." More importantly, writing and editing skills, along with internet and research savvy is going to be a great plus for young people going into the job market.

Posted June 2, 2006

The British blogger, Tim Worstall tells his adventures as a blogger cum freelance economics correspondent and how it works for him. Is blogging the new internship? An interesting question.

For writers, the blurring of fact and fiction made its debut back in the days of "new journalism." The feeling at that time was that journalism was boring while fiction was impossible and, in fact, losing readership quickly. Talented types like Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, and Hunter Thompson blended the two modes and had enormous sway in the world of journalism. Ron Steinman writes a review of a new book about all of this, "The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight" and in the process says the shadow is longer and more penetrating than the light, as far as the effect this has had on journalism. Click the link above and enjoy this column!

Posted June 1, 2006

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