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When I was a student in the bad old days, Woodward and Bernstein were heroes (and not because they were played by Redford and Hoffman). They were young, grind-it-out journalists who fought and dug to get the story of the century. I have sentimental feelings about that time and like to hear what they say about the state of journalism today.

I saw Woodward give a lecture a few years ago in Oakland, CA. He can be a very funny guy.

October 30, 2007

It's always good to read stories about freelance writers committed to the path.

“What separates successful writers from unsuccessful writers is not quality of writing, but how much rejection you can take...It’s a question of shouldering through.”

That is true. Of course, a freelance writer at 28 is not the same creature as the freelance writer at 40 or 50.

October 29, 2007

Here's a sane and mild homage to the "dead tree newspaper," by Farhad Manjoo

Some points include:

  • Easy to skim.
  • Always run small but significant stories that are a delight to find.

For sheer usability I opt for the Christian Science Monitor. They know how to pack a lot of information in a readable package.

Another point that needs addressing. When I pay for a newspaper subscription or buy one off the rack I value the time I spend with it. Online I often feel like I'm part of a group of gangstas hitting a local mall store.

October 27, 2007

Rather than "branding" writers and journalists should think about their online persona. It's standard practice now to google a person to see who you are dealing with. Writers and editors are apt to get googled by publishers or businesses that want to hire them. So read these tips from U.S. News and World Report to get your image polished online.

October 26, 2007

Should journalists "brand" themselves? Is this the future in journalism? According to the New York Observer it is. Of course, New York is its own brand. I doubt if journalists in Fresno or Tupulo worry about it. A journalist would brand him or herself if she had a speciality and could leverage a media position into books, seminars, speeches, and consulting.

But this comes at a time when journalism is failing to do its basic job. Plus, a "brand" in journalism puts a sign around the brand saying, "Please bid on my services and use me for the going price." And that includes reviewers, government reporters, gossip columnists right down the line.

I can understand the concept of "we are all free agents." But branding a journalist is more akin to what they do to cows not celebrities.

Maybe Mad Men will have an episode where they successfuly brand a journalist!

October 24, 2007

Have you given any thought to becoming a "contract video game writer?" Please pay attention to this interview and learn all about it!

This tale of the networking student is a great example of how to be resourceful.

October 23, 2007

What will newspapers be like in a decade or so? This question was addressed by the World Association of Newspapers and some of the excerpted pieces are here.

A Canadian writer loses his job of 22 years and starts a new search. He writes about some of the soul-searching, disappointments, and new discoveries on his search.

There's a decent interview with several new media types about how journalism schools are lagging behind in getting students up to speed.

October 22, 2007

As a young writer I was always told that "writing has no economic value..." Go tell that to the TV executives who are facing a writer's strike at the end of the month.

Bad shows equal less viewers equals less ad dollars etc etc.

With the big media cracking apart and the long-tail being organically grown from its mythical head, writers need to be more business savvy than ever.

October 19, 2007

Are you a food writer or food blogger? They are all over the place now! And more than a few of them might not be trustworthy. When is a review simply a more sophisticated advetorial?

October 18, 2007

Retirement is not exactly a term people wrap their arms around. And, according to the story in the Seattle Times, "This "demographic tsunami" has no precedent..." She's referring to the vast numbers of senior citizens that will populate the U.S. in the coming decades. And the percentage will increase through this century, not decrease. It's around 12% now and will be up to 23% by 2075.

We'll let the policy makers, the experts in aging, and the demographers figure this one out. Whenever these shifts occur it opens up a lot of opportunities. People in their fifties and sixties are quitting their careers and starting new ones. Companies, domestic and foreign, will be tapping into this demographic for relatively cheap, experienced labor.

Young people, with nary a thought about retirement, will be able to use some of the pathways opened up by the boomers for their own "retirement path."

It confirms what Toffler wrote years ago about the consequences of life being lived long now. One person will live three or four very distinct lives in one lifetime.

Don't stop at the first one!

October 17, 2007

I keep up on this blog since he tells stories about people who have created a new career or advanced one through blogging.

The Boston Globe has expanded this concept to include new jobs and careers opening up to people who are savvy in web marketing or search engine optimization and so on.

It tells me that writers can double their value by learning some of the new ways and means of communicating, at the beginning of what will turn out to be an historic communications revolution.

October 15, 2007

I notice a lot of "freelance real estate writer" ads around. It is a hot subject so you might want to read this interview with real estate reporters from a variety of newsrooms.

Publishing Trends is out with a whimsical survey of publishing professionals. The vast majority of the respondents are editors.

It's interesting to note that nearly half of the editorial types think of themselves as "writers." If you have any interest in the publishing industry read this!

October 12, 2007

Are you stymied by the gatekeepers, esp. of the electronic kind when applying for jobs?

"To prevent being digitally dismissed, jobseekers need a strong resume and a few insider tips to give them the upper hand, according to Susan Britton Whitcomb..."

As we say to job seekers and freelance writers, "study what you want to connect with."

October 10, 2007

Interested in writing for magazines? Check these tips from The Journalism School at Columbia University. It's slanted to students in NY City but useful anywhere and everywhere.

October 9, 2007

Ever since Sunoasis.com officially started in 2000, the major theme has been resources.

"Distill from this gargantuan virtual city and present it to those who write and edit."

Obviously, job leads are a great resource but so are all those things that teach, inform, inspire, and encourage. Sunoasis.com is dedicated to the advancement of all who write and edit or wish to do so. Thanks for your loyalty!

If you are an editor or want to be a "frontline editor" this is the place to be! It is the Frontline Editors Project and has training, news, and forums.

October 8, 2007

Enjoy this interview with a published children's writer.

The fate of journalists is different in different parts of the world. More than a few politicians in Washington would love to see a few journalists and bloggers flee the profession and take "'menial' jobs - car guards, gardeners, hawkers and farmworkers - just to survive..."

October 5, 2007

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David Eide
Copyright 2007

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