Is it too soon for MediaWire?

Just a few days ago, I was writing a blog pot for 10,000 Words about the Romenesko saga. To make a long story short, Poynter editor Julie Moos posted an announcement that it had come to the organization’s attention that there were attribution issues with posts written by Jim Romenesko, the site’s revered columnist and founder of the Romenesko blog. Drama ensued, Romenesko resigned, the Twitterverse exploded in criticism of Poynter and Moos.

Now, Moos has announced that the Romenesko Blog will be renamed MediaWire.

This move isn’t in response to the Romenesko fiasco — it has been planned for quite some time. (Originally, when Romenesko said he was semi-retiring this summer, the blog was just going to be renamed Romenesko+.) In fact, a job posting for a new reporter for that specific blog asked applicants to suggest new names.

But I am wondering about the timing of the naming announcement. Moos/Poynter received some scathing comments for the way they handled the Romenesko issue. Now, before the dust has really settled, they are renaming the blog. I simply can’t decide if this is good or bad PR.

On one hand, it’s good to move away from the name Romenesko. The blog needed a new name and it had to be announced sometime.

Conversely, it looks like Poynter is trying to distance itself from an ugly situation and almost sweep it under the rug by making the new name public now. Based on my interactions with some of the Poynter staff, I really don’t think that is the case but some naysayers might think otherwise.

I’ll be keep my eyes and ears open to reactions.

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Filed under From the blogosphere, Hmm

Three Media Jobs You Should Apply For Immediately

It’s not easy to get jobs in the news and media industry. Not only are they scarce, there are lots of candidates vying for the same position. Sometimes, however, you just have to forget that and dive into the applicant pool.

Here are some media gigs I just heard about that you should apply for NOW. All would be a serious step in the right direction for an aspiring social media guru or technology reporter. Continue reading

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What the heck is Kohort? (And why do I care?)

A few days ago, someone I follow on Twitter (@shontelaylay) tweeted she had reserved her username on Kohort. What is Kohort, you ask? I don’t have a clue. That certainly didn’t stop me from immediately clicking on the included link and reserving my own username.

It remains a mystery what Kohort is. A Google search revealed it’s a start up that has $3 million in seed money. The phrase “It’s a new frontier” is splashed across the login page. (Star Trek anyone?) In a recent TechCrunch article, CEO Mark Davis also remains coy, only admitting that the product will be related to social media.  The Business Insider recently lauded the company for launching in “stealth” mode.

Ok, so the stealth mode is working. I want to know what Kohort is and what I’ve signed up for. And that’s what will keep me coming back. It is a great marketing strategy but there’s also the real chance it will backfire. The company has to make sure their product will continue to intrigue users, even once the mystery is gone. So let’s hope they do. I know I can’t wait to see what it is. Have you heard anything?

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Filed under Careers, New ideas, Twitter

Worst job description ever?

Ok, here’s my entry for worst job description ever.

It’s on JournalismJobs.com and the position is “LONG HOURS LOW PAY.” If that doesn’t immediately spark your interest, check out the job description:

How bad do you want to be a reporter? Bad enough to work nights and weekends? The poor glutton for punishment that’s chosen will cover city and county government. Sports and general interest feature stories.

In exchange for your long hours and tireless efforts you will be rewarded with low pay and marginal health insurance. Please send resume, and 3 writing samples to wonclive@yahoo.com This is a full time salaried position located in beautiful northwest.

Well, thank goodness for that last sentence, telling me the job/den of hell is located in the “beautiful northwest.”

Is this a serious job description? I hope not. If it is, the employer is one cynical person who really shouldn’t be in journalism anymore. Most/all reporting jobs require working nights and weekends, covering city and country governments, sports and general interest feature stories.

Anyone else have wonderfully bad job descriptions they’ve seen?

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Filed under Careers, Hmm, Newspapers in general

Columbia’s new dual- degree program disappoints

This morning, Poynter’s Ask the Recruiter column posted a Q&A with Bill Grueskin, dean of academic affairs and professor of professional practice in the Columbia J-school, and Henning Schulzrinne, a professor in Columbia’s Computer Science Department, regarding a new dual degree Columbia is offering in journalism and computer science.

After reading the interview, I am incredibly let down. As someone who is extremely interested in digital media but doesn’t have a strong background in computer science, aka no bachelor’s degree in the subject, I thought this degree would help me bridge that gap. But wait a second:

I suspect that, at least initially, more of our applicants will be those with technological skills who are eager to apply their ability to the media world.

–Grueskin on who is the ideal candidate for the school’s new dual-degree in journalism and computer science program.

and

Candidates should have a background roughly equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Information Science, or some other engineering or science degree.

Schulzrinne, in the same interview.

In order to be a part of this program, you basically need a bachelor’s in computer science or a similar field. That narrows down who can apply, big time. The last time I checked, most journalists aren’t exactly math or science experts. Hello, that’s why we write. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in the field.

A bit of background: A few months ago, Columbia University announced it was creating a new dual-degree program between the Columbia J-School and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. The program would teach students “the fundamentals of reporting and writing while developing a working background in computer science and software design.” But unfortunately, it sounds like the program is really for programmers who are interested in journalism, not the other way around.

We already understand that journalists should have gotten on the tech bandwagon ages ago but why aren’t j-schools, like Columbia, creating new programs to truly help current journalists, not computer scientists who don’t want to work at Microsoft? More courses should be offered at a reasonable price on the basics of computer science/developing geared to help communicators.

Most of the communication schools/j-schools I’ve looked at only incorporate digital media into their already existing print classes. Some might have a small digital media concentration but we need more than this. Columbia had an excellent opportunity to achieve that here but they didn’t take it.

I’m going to peruse the Poynter story now, to see what the comments have been saying. I wonder if anyone else shares my frustration.

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Filed under Education, From the blogosphere, J-schools, Online news, Technology

Update: ‘Girl who quit’ WAS a hoax!

Just saw this on Mashable:

Yesterday, we fell in love with “Jenny,” a young woman who quit her job through a series of amusing whiteboard messages. Alas, this one was too good to be true. “Jenny” is really Elyse Porterfield, an aspiring actress from Glendale, California.

The prank was created by brothers John and Leo Resig for their humor site, theCHIVE.com. Peter Kafka from AllThingsD grew suspicious of the story yesterday and did some digging. Porterfield has also tweeted confirmation of her role in the stunt.

Here’s more from TheChive.com.

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