Carnival of Journalism: Journalists as Capitalists


Haven’t we spent enough time asking what journalists can and can’t do?

Haven’t we spent enough time asking what the definition of journalism is?

Seriously, enough already.

When I saw this month’s Carnival of Journalism prompt from Michael Rosenblum, I appreciated the passion with which he challenged the traditional definitions of journalism (haven’t we all been there?) I especially appreciated the challenges to the dinosaurs’ belief that journalists should not be out there thinking about making money:

“Making money is no crime. In fact, it is the ulimate good. With money you can do stuff.  Without it, you are the perpetual victim and the perpetual employee, which is what most journalists are.  And that is crazy.”

Indeed.  Enough already.

Rosenblum cites Jeff Jarvis as the leading educator out there in the Entrepreneurial Journalism movement.  Indeed, but Jeff is not the only one.  My colleague BJ Roche teachers an Entrepreneurial Journalism course here at UMass, and like Jarvis, we are looking to expand our offerings.

Some will succeed.  Some will try and fail.  As the David ‘The Rad One’ Cohn has said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “experimentation is good.”   I tell my students that anyone who tells them anything is not possible in journalism today is “full of crap and doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

Seriously, enough already.

Students and entrepreneurs are the wave of the future of journalism.  Let’s stop trying to put the profession in a box.

I’ve spent years trying to convince old-school professionals and educators about the positive direction of the profession.  But, at some point we all have to say enough already and move on.

Can journalists make good capitalists?  Sure.  Why not?

Enough already.

After the Paterno Debacle: A New Twitter Ethos Is Needed

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My blog entry taking a look at Twitter and the sloppy reporting surrounding the death of Joe Paterno was posted at the Online Journalism Review today.

Coming to UMass: Documentary Filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist; showing of ‘The Two Escobars’

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Filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist will speak and show his award-winning documentary “The Two Escobars” on Thursday, Feb 24 at 4 p.m. at the Cape Cod Lounge.

This is a phenomenal documentary and a riveting piece of storytelling. It is part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, but it is way more than a film about sports.

Here’s what David Ansen said about it:

Pablo Escobar was the richest, most powerful drug kingpin in the world, ruling the Medelli­n Cartel with an iron fist. Andres Escobar was the biggest soccer star in Colombia. The two were not related, but their fates were inextricably – and fatally – intertwined. Pablo’s drug money had turned Andres’ national team into South American champions, favored to win the 1994 World Cup in Los Angeles. It was there, in a game against the U.S., that Andres committed one of the most shocking mistakes in soccer history, scoring an “own goal” that eliminated his team from the competition and ultimately cost him his life.

THE TWO ESCOBARS is a riveting examination of the intersection of sports, crime, and politics. For Colombians, soccer was far more than a game: their entire national identity rode on the success or failure of their team. Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s fast and furious documentary plays out on an ever-expanding canvas, painting a fascinating portrait of Pablo, Andres, and a country in the grips of a violent, escalating civil war.

Jeff Zimbalist is the son of Andy Zimbalist who teaches economics at Smith, and he’ll be here to speak about the making of this film.

This event is being funded by Elisa Thomas, who is a journalism alum.

Great Opportunity with American Junior Golf Association!

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We recently received this e-mail from Lauren Shelly, the Manager of Recruiting and Special Events for the AJGA:
It is that time of year where the American Junior Golf Association begins the search for more than 50 interns that will work for us during the spring or summer to help our full-time staff conduct more than 85 golf tournaments and 45 qualifiers across the United States. The AJGA internship requires extensive travel, is difficult and demanding, but at the same time is very rewarding and prepares one for a career in the golf/sports industry. The AJGA is looking for talented and well-rounded applicants to serve as tournament operations and communications interns. The tournament operations and communications intern is an entry-level position and must be at least 20 years old prior to May 16, 2011.
I am contacting you in hopes that you know of students, past interns or acquaintances who would be qualified to be a part of our internship. Below is a brief description of the two internship positions. For those interested in the internship position, please direct them to our Web site www.ajga.org/internships for more information, job descriptions and to apply.
Tournament Operations Internship Job Responsibilities
  • On-course rules officiating
  • General tournament set-up and preparation
  • Golf course set-up and preparation
  • Starting and scoring of players
  • Media and public relations
  • Monitoring equipment inventory, maintenance and replenishment
  • Public speaking
Communications Internship Job Responsibilities
In addition to the above duties, Communications interns will:
  • Post-round results and news releases
  • Prepare each tournament’s printed materials
  • Tournament photography
  • Distribute results to local and national media
  • Update the AJGA’s Web site, ajga.org
  • Media and public relations
Our spring internship is from March – May and the summer internship is from May – September (end dates vary depending on the school schedule). Interns are paid $200/week in the spring and $225/week in the summer, most travel expenses are covered and this internship may be used to receive college credit. Polo Golf/Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms, Under Armour shoes and Bolle sunglasses will be provided for all interns.
For those that are interested in applying, candidates can send their information to Lauren Shelly, Manager of Recruiting and Special Events via mail (American Junior Golf Association, ATTN: Lauren Shelly, 1980 Sports Club Drive, Braselton, GA, 30517), e-mail (lshelly@ajga.org) or fax (678-425-1653).
Priority Deadline: November 12, 2010 (by 5 p.m. EST) – Applicants for the spring MUST apply by the November deadline.
Final Deadline: January 7, 2011 (by 5 p.m. EST)

In addition, finalists for the internship MUST attend Intern Recruiting Weekend in Atlanta, February 25 – 27, 2011. The AJGA will provide lodging, food and reimburse a portion of travel expenses.
The application for 2011 will be available on September 1st.

The New Jobs in Journalism aren’t the same as the Old Jobs

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The headline that came across my Twitter feed today quickly drew my attention:

Jobs in Journalism Growing.”

Wait, what?

I have been saying the same thing for several years now, but always get strange looks.  Now, here was a post from my old friend Mark Briggs saying that, yes, there are jobs out there.  But, Briggs quickly points out the caveat:  The new jobs in journalism aren’t the same as the old jobs.

Briggs bolsters what many of us knew anecdotally with some statistics:

  • Drawing from numbers based on the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of roughly 60,000 households conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, Mandel found the overall number of employed journalists increased by 19% from 2007-2010.

I’ve posted many jobs in this space, but Briggs stresses how the job descriptions have been changing (and will continue to change.)

Briggs writes:

Indeed, here’s a piece of a job posting from July 30, 2010 on the Tribune website:

The TV revolution is upon us – and the new Tribune Company is leading the resistance. We’re recruiting a solid team of anti-establishment producer/editors, “preditors”, to collaborate on a groundbreaking morning news/infotainment format unlike anything ever attempted on local TV. Don’t sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don’t care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We’ll pass. Or your excellence at writing readable copy for plastic anchorpeople. Not interested.

Sell us on this:

-Your personal relationship with the internet, blogs, video-sharing, iPads, Droids, Blackberries, Blueteeth, Facebook & Twitter, and all things Modern Culture.

-You’re in sync with the pulse of the streets, not the PC, Capital “J” journalism world.

I love that last sentence.

Bottom line, there are jobs.  A friend just sent let me know about his job opening at the CTMirror.org.  I also came across these openings on IRE’s jobs site.

So, keep plugging away, there are jobs out there!

Sports Journalism Rules: The Top 20 List

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Fox’s Sports Journalism Rules” began slowly and then the Top 10 grew to the Top 20 (and, actually the list translates outside of sports journalism.)   Many thanks to my friends and colleagues at ESPN.com for helping me to flesh out the list:

No. 1 — No Cheering in the Press Box.
No. 2 — It’s better to be second and right than first and wrong.
No. 3 – Always prepare and do background before a game or interview.
No. 4 — Always take notebooks/pens to an assignment. (Don’t be the student who didn’t bring either and got the score wrong in his lede.)
No. 5 – Technology demands redundancy.  Take notes even if you’re taping.  Always have extra batteries, tapes, SD cards.
No. 6 – Act professionally in how you dress and how you act.
No. 7 — No one cares what you think; write what others think.
No. 8 — Ask the obvious.
No. 9 — Don’t interrupt.  Be quiet and let people answer your questions.
No. 10 – The length of a story is however long it takes.
No. 11 – Never ask:  “How do you feel?”
No. 12 — Avoid the pack.  Search for the unusual.
No. 13 — Weekends.  Nights.  Holidays.  Get used to it.
No. 14 —  Always get ‘there’ early.  Explore the venue and find the key personnel that can help make your life easier.
No. 15 — Never ask another reporter for their quotes.
No. 16 — Social media matters.  If you use it as a professional networking or reporting tool, act appropriately. The common sense rule always applies.
No. 17 — Never wear a ball cap to an assignment.
No. 18 — Don’t be a wallflower.  Ask questions.
No. 19 — Don’t trust rosters.
No. 20 — And, from one of the best editors I know out there:  Always take time to watch the sun rise over the mountains.

Sports Journalism Scholarships

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Some interesting news on the scholarship front:
The Associated Press Sports Editors are sponsoring four $1,500 scholarship for collegiate sports journalists.

APSE, a national organization of sports editors, is awarding four scholarships to help motivate talented students to pursue a career in sports journalism. Collegiate sports journalists entering their sophomore, junior or senior years are eligible for the scholarship which will awarded based on the students’ journalistic work, their academic record, financial need, and geography. The scholarships will be awarded to students from four different regions of the United States. The winners will be chosen by the APSE scholarship committee, which is chaired by Joe Sullivan, sports editor of the Boston Globe and includes editors from all sections of the United States.

The deadline is June 1.

The following information should be included in your letter of application:

*  Personal: Name, address, age, phone number.

*  Academic: A copy of collegiate grades.

*  Financial: A brief rundown of your financial situation, with regards to how you plan to pay for tuition.

*  Five examples of sports journalism (usually stories but could also be sections the student has edited).

Mail information to:
APSE Scholarship
c/o Joe Sullivan, Sports Editor

The Boston Globe
135 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02205-2845

OR email information to jtsullivan@globe.com with links or PDFs.

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