Tag Archives: Guardian

MediaGuardian hacks now write for paidContent

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Cross promotion is inevitable when one content site buys another, but it gets a little complicated when the publisher of a big content buys another smaller content site which covers the same sector – and decides to keep the smaller one going as a standalone entity.

Such is the case with the paidContent site and its recent acquisition by the Guardian. The mainstream media owner has wasted no time at all in pulling paidContent, er, content, into the MediaGuardian’s own digital news pages. Not sure how this impacted the existing digital news team there, namely Jemima Kiss, but hey, who are we to second guess one of the most successful publishers in the UK?

But integration and cross promotional thingies have increased even more with today’s inclusion of a post from the MediaGuardian’s own PDA digital news blog on paidContent’s site. Not sure if the byline format works for me, but it’s interesting how this is slowly developing into something interesting. Assuming this is step two in a defined long term game plan.

Separately, the paidContent blog talks about a new website by the creators of Dazed & Confused called Dazed Digital. Not a magazine extension site it appears, but a destination in its own right. Quite nice, but no obvious sign of comments or UGC services for us fickle read/write/rip consumers of content. Also, most of the videos seem to suffer from poor lighting, making each interviewee look like they’re in silhouette. Artistic fancy or handycam hitch?

Chris Morris and the CERN particle smasher

CERN

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I’m still surprised by how few people have heard of the CERN science project.

Perhaps that’s a good thing given the initial panic about the potential for the earth to be swallowed up by a black hole.

Anyhoo, the Guardian yesterday published a special supplment on the project, complete with a truly bizarre article by Chris Morris (of BrassEye and Nathan Barley fame).

Read his article: Massive bosons blew my unit

Also, listen to a CERN podcast about his visit.

How to become a journalist: act like one

Every time someone asks me how I got into journalism, I usually trot out the same words of advice: write, submit, write, submit, write…you get the picture.

My point being that no matter what your qualifications or experience, if you write an article and the editor you submit it to likes what he or she reads, then you’re in.

Formal qualifications do matter in some lines of specialist reporting (ie having a science degree clearly helps when writing for New Scientist). But if you have a talent for writing must read copy, then you’re most of the way there.

Students I speak to tend to stuck on the ‘submit’ bit of my ‘write, submit’ mantra. Pre-2000, I always recommended emailing, posting or faxing (remember that?) content in to editors for consideration. Since 2000, I’ve added forum posting and blogging to the list.

The power of how contributing to blogs alone can boost your career prospects in journalism is emphasised by people like Cath Elliott, who was first ‘talent spotted’ on the Guardian’s Comment is Free portal as a commenter. According to the Guardian, her comments has such insight and thoughtfulness that she was invited to become a contributor.

Of course, some may argue that Cath isn’t a journalist but a blogger. But what is a journalist these days? Two things might sway this debate: a) the blog platform is owned by a major national newspaper and b) at any time, her content has the potential to make it into the print newspaper or ‘official’ Guardian news site. So – is Cath a journalist?

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Business Week invests in citizen journalism and user engagement

Well, peel me like a beetroot and pickle me in brine – a publisher has woken up to the value of developing long term relationships with blog post commenters.
Backed up by a dedicated strategy and senior member of staff, prime commenters are to be cultivated and paid (yes, paid) to not only write articles, but also take part in wider news production. Hello user centred design!
I’m also excited aboout this content strategy because it has a good chance of taking off, thanks to the calibre of the commenters they’re looking to work with – namely high profile CEOs and directors. Users will actively seek out their content. B2B publishers should take note, as should consumer media owners: citizen journalism doesn’t begin and end with the Guardian’s Comment is Free.
Read more about Business Week’s citizen journalism content strategy [via paidContent]

Are sub editors a dying breed?

Mediaguardian reports that regional newspaper Archant Suffolk is to replace 20 subs with designers.

The article focuses on the cutting of costs – designers are allegedly paid less – but it also adds fuel to the firey debate (clunk) about whether sub editors are a dying breed.

Do we really need subs as more and more news operations adopt a blog led / web approach to layout, effectively letting journalists drop their copy into a santised web template.

Doug Richard of Dragon’s Den fame, has suggested more publishers will go this way as they chase a reduction in overheads.

Not a good time to be a sub editor wethinks. Be good to hear from sub editors on this topic.

Read the Guardian story in full

Read Roy Greenslade’s blog post on this story – with comments

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Julie Burchill tipped to become Sun’s TV critic says Guardian

If Victor Lewis Smith can do it, so can Burchill. She’s written her own TV series after all.

But is it true? The Guardian reports she’s already written a dummy TV critic page and an announcement is due in a few days.

The mind boggles. Will this strategy – no doubt to attract more female readers – backfire with the Sun’s average reader?

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