Tag Archives: jobs

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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Is being the CEO of Second Life really a “career killer”?

I always read make time to George’s i-boy blog, but I’ll admit I’ve never seen anything as so damning as his latest post, which talks about Mark Kingdon’s move from CEO of digital agency Organic to CEO of Linden Lab, the owner of Second Life.

Sure, there’s been a strong reaction to Kingdon’s move on Linden’s own site (which i-boy has helpfully published), but George himself is just as scathing. Check out the multiple choice options!

Take a look for yourself at i-boy.

Betfair to shake up financnial trading, commodities and currency markets

Betfair, the peer to peer betting business has registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to offer spread betting facilities as part of a wider plan to revolutionise the way people punt on tghe markets.

Moving things on from its current simple offer of bets on which way the FTSE will move, the company is said to have installed senior investment banker Robin Osmond who is looking to implement technology that can match more trades per second than other existing trading systems – matching 10 times as much, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A day in the life of a Forrester web analyst

A brilliant blog post as ever by Jeremiah, an analyst at research firm Forrester. When does the guy get to sleep exactly? Read more on how Jeremiah spends his time as an analyst

His favourite site? Of all the hundreds of cutting edge websites out there, what did he pick? Drumroll…Twitter.com. Who’da thunk it? An oldie, but still a goodie.

Big site / trend he’s watching? OpenSocial. Big, big changes in store says Jermiah, especially as more content led sites add more social elements to their websites. We agree. Just wish it would all happen quicker.

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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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Web Content Editor – Temp – £120 a day

Web Editor / Web Content Editor / Web Designer with HTML, Photoshop and general front end web skills required by major organisation for 1 month contract located Southwark, London.

You will be responsible for proof-reading, editing (for key words etc.) and publishing a range of content to their website.

Candidates will need good HTML, Photoshop and general front end skills as well good attention to detail and excellent written communication skills. Ideally your back ground will include adding and managing content via CMS systems.

This is a 2 month contract paying up to £120.00 per day; candidates must be able to start Tuesday 11 September.

Apply at Jobsite

Web content editor pay and the ‘ultimate web editor’

Friends tell me of the armies of technical staff / developers now giving up permanent positions to go freelance after hearing they can earn far more in the market. Oddly, this doesn’t appear to be the case for web editors – we’re seeing salaries and daily rates level out. This is despite the ongoing debate about editors being required to take on more technical and community led tasks – all of which are skilled – as part of their ongoing remit of responsibilities.

Question 1: what is the going rate salary / day rate for a general web editor?

Question 1: what skills and experience are you finding it difficult to source e.g. community management, technical, knowledge of marketing?

Humour us on this one -we’re going to use this to create a job spec for the ‘perfect/ultimate web editor’, assuming such a thing can exist.

Sunday Telegraph editor, Patience Wheatcroft, quits

Patience Wheatcroft has resigned as editor of the Sunday Telegraph after just 18 months in the job.

No official reason has been given for her departure from the title. It’s not known if her resignation came as a result of management’s push to merge the Sunday and Daily Telegraph news operations – a historically contentious subject at the Telegraph, dating back to Max Hastings’ editorship during the 90s.

Personally, I’m backing a Wheatcroft move back to News International to take up a role at the Times, the newly acquired Wall Street Journal or parent company Dow Jones. Wheatcroft joined the Sunday Telegraph after years as City editor at The Times.

Content editors – is the market screwed?

I’ve just spotted something on new media job markets.

Talking about the life that Account Executives lead, Ask.com’s Sean X Cummings calls for higher pay for staff and observes: “In a tight job market two things happen: You pay more for talent that is less talented, and that talent never ceases to stop reminding the AE of their other options.”

Reading this reminded me of the recent staff / pay review by NMA which suggested that content staff and web editors are some of the lowest paid staff in new media. Yet, whenever I’m looking to hire a decent editor, I’m experiencing the nightmare scenario that Sean describes.

Have all the decent content editors run for cover at Sky, the BBC, MTV or ITV, because freelance isthin on the ground and the market’s slowing down? Or is it the lure of employers paying higher than average salaries?

It’s nigh on impossible to find a decent content editor who can turn their hand to all things content – ie copywriting, uploading content via a CMS, IA work, content review work and even a little journalism. It’s really tricky getting an expert in just one of these disciplines. Does no one try to develop their skills in all areas? Do they not buy books on copywriting? How to be a better journalist? Ever read Andrew Marr’s book on journalism ‘My Trade’?

Perhaps it’s time I set up a recruitment agency…
[Via iMedia Connection]