Posted on : 14-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Newspapers, Trends
Maybe I have just learned to ignore the depressing news of the thousands of layoffs at newspapers and other news organizations across the nation and begun to pay more attention to the bright spots in journalism. There are journalism jobs being created what seems like every day.
The advice I have given to myself constantly, and will offer it to anyone that loves storytelling: If you truly want to be a journalist, you will find a way. But if you are one of those reporters or editors dwelling on the “glory days” of newspapers and keep a constant eye on sites like the Newspaper Death Watch or the Journalism is Dead site from Mark Luckie and is a collection of funny quotes on why journalism is dead, then someone needs to scream in your ear and tell you that things have changed. They are going to keep changing. But I am simply more optimistic (and can afford to be – I know things change when you have a mortgage and kids to feed, etc.). Here are a few reasons why I am optimistic:
Posted on : 09-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism
Several weeks ago, I wrote a post on “10 ways journalism schools are teaching social media” for Mashable.com. The post mostly focused on the what and not the how. I did include a few tips at the end from a few professors I interviewed, including those from Paul Bradshaw, the course director of the M.A. in Online Journalism program at Birmingham City University in the U.K.
Since that time, there has been a lot of buzz on the topic. Today, Poynter Online is hosting a chat titled, “What Are Practical Ways to Teach Social Media Skills in Journalism School?” Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at Publish2 will be discussing his “Five Keys to Authenticity” and answering questions. There were some great things that Bradshaw mentioned for tips that I wasn’t able to include in the Mashable post. Here are some of his tips (sorry if some of these are repeats from the Mash post, but they will serve to provide some good context):
Posted on : 08-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Online Journalism
Excerpt from my post on Onlinejournalismblog.com:
The question is no longer just a hypothetical one. With increasing convergence between social media and traditional content, what is known as a traditional news website might not exist in the coming years.
Perhaps a revealing example is the creation of Facebook applications by a Seattle-based aggregator, NewsCloud, which received a grant from the Knight Foundation to study how young people receive their news through social networks.
With developer Jeff Reifman leading the way, NewsCloud has developed three applications (Hot Dish, Minnesota Daily and Seattle In:Site) that engage users in news content through linking to stories by providing a headline, photo and blurb. The applications also allow them to blog, post links themselves and much more – all while getting points for completing “challenges” that can be redeemed for prizes, which works as an incentive to stay engaged. Prizes include everything from t-shirts to tickets to a baseball game to a MacBook. Some of these challenges are online ones (sharing a story, commenting on content, blogging, etc.) and others are offline challenges (attend a marketing event, write a letter to the editor).
Read the full post here. It is a follow-up to a previous post on the Facebook applications.
Posted on : 06-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Online Journalism
Last week, Mark S. Luckie published a great post on 30 things that recent journalism grads should do this summer. The post included everything from starting a blog to creating a basic slideshow in flash. Though this is a great round-up of things that will improve your standing as a job candidate, I want to emphasize a key skill or ingrained mindset each journalist should have today: innovation.
In my observations, it seems that for the last few years journalists have often been playing catch-up to technologies that have ultimately helped or improved journalists work in reporting and publishing their work. Most of these have been Web technologies (using social media tools like Twitter), but advances in equipment (audio players, flip cams, etc.) have also contributed.
I have seen it used many times before, but have never implemented it myself. I know the concept behind CoveritLive, a free and easy to use service that allows you to integrate a live chat onto your site or blog.
It also allows you to do much more, such as aggregating tweets. Greg Linch, an online intern @Dallas_News and new media brainchild for journalism, used it today to aggregate tweets from the Personal Democracy Forum 2009 in his blog. I figured I would give it a try by testing the service my self and aggregating the same feed (sorry if I stole the idea, Greg, but I needed something timely).
Excerpt from my post from Mashable.com today.
With news organizations beginning to create special positions to manage the use of social media tools, such as the recently appointed social editor at The New York Times, journalism schools are starting to recognize the need to integrate social media into their curricula.
That doesn’t mean having a class on Facebook or Twitter, which many college students already know inside and out, but instead means that professors are delving into how these tools can be applied to enrich the craft of reporting and producing the news and ultimately telling the story in the best possible way.
And though many professors are still experimenting and learning how these tools can be used, here are are the 10 ways journalism schools are currently teaching students to use social media. Please share in the comments others that you have found to be important and effective as well.
Read my full post on Mashable.com.
Posted on : 16-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business
Today, I attended the New Economic Models for News Conference that was put on by the Minnesota Journalism Center. I was excited to gain new insights from professionals in the industry and hear about what’s working and what’s not. I mostly heard about the same old and much about any “new” models.
For the most part many of the speakers, some of whom were publishers and traditional newspaper folks, complained about Google stealing ad revenue as well as other such aggregators – though Joel Kramer, the founder of Minnpost.com, pointed out that 30 percent of their traffic comes from Google. I know that some websites are likely even more than that.
With a slump of 5 percent in online advertising in the first quarter in comparison to last year’s numbers, news sites seem to be trying new forms on the Web to increase revenue. One of the things I have noticed is more sites incorporating in-text ads that appear as links and expand when a reader hovers over them. But does this form of advertising ruin the reader’s experience? Moreover, does it cross ethical boundaries?
Posted on : 09-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Trends
There was a lot of fuss about Compete.com’s numbers on Twitter.com visits slowing, as reported by Mashable. I decided to use Compete.com to check on some of the local news sites and see how they are doing. If the site’s stats are accurate, it means that StarTribune.com’s unique and overall visits have been slipping since January. The overall visits have also been declining from 5.5 million in March to 4.6 million in May.
Posted on : 08-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Tools
Though it publicly debuted in September and boasts 1 million users, I recently stumbled across Dropbox through a friend on Facebook. Dropbox, whose slogan is “secure backup, sync and sharing made easy,” is doing just that. Making your life easier in backing up files and being able to access them from anywhere through the Web.
It is like a 2G flash drive (2G is the free amount of space that it comes with, additional space can be bought or obtained through referrals of friends) that you don’t have to carry around or worry about losing or connecting to your computer. It also works with Windows, Macs and Linux. The Web account also shows you all your recent activity, allows you to access all your content and download it. But what I want to talk about is how journalists and newsrooms can use this as a tool.