Net Worked | March 21st, 2017

TWITTER CHAT: Reddit For Journalists

By Taylor Mirfendereski

Join SPJ Digital March 21, 2016 at 8 PM (Eastern Standard Time) for an hour-long Twitter chat about how journalists can use Reddit to enhance their audience, story arsenal and sources. Reddit is the most valuable social media network for some journalists and the most frustrating for others. The difference lies in knowing how you make the discussions, sub-reddits and community work with you rather than against you. Esther Schindler, a longtime tech industry journalist and coauthor of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter Marketing, has translated geek-talk into English since 1992. Continue reading
Net Worked | March 21st, 2017

Ethics and authenticity

By Alex Veeneman

At NPR’s headquarters in Washington, two sets of keyboards, both connected to microphones, appear before a musician. He sits down and performs three tracks from his album – a performance that is as intimate as it gets, a performance that is powerful and can showcase talent.

His name is Sampha – a singer, songwriter and producer from south London who has come to DC for a Tiny Desk concert, part of the All Songs Considered series, and as it provided some very good background music as I made research calls today, it also made me think. Continue reading


The Independent Journalist | March 17th, 2017

Score one for the freelancer! (a cautionary tale)

By Hilary Niles

By guest blogger Hazel Becker 

This is the story of a freelance journalist who went up against a national publisher and won. The individual facts and circumstances are not uncommon.

The freelancer had a personal story to tell, and pitched it to the editor of a publication that would have broad reach. The editor said yes, and the two agreed on compensation and a deadline. The story was published in print and online, pretty much as written. Continue reading


First Draft | March 15th, 2017

A guide to the FOIA

By Alex Veeneman

The Freedom of Information Act, passed by Congress in 1966, is an essential part of the public’s right to know about their government. (Photo: Kevin McCoy/Wikimedia Commons)

This week is Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a week held annually reminding us of the importance of the public’s right to know. At the core of this is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was signed into law in 1966.

Because of the nature of my work, I have to be selective in the FOIA requests that I file with the US government. Continue reading


Net Worked | March 5th, 2017

Women are the future

By Alex Veeneman

“The future of media looks like this.”

That is how a tweet from Josiah Ryan, a senior producer for CNN in New York, began when discussing the recent front page cover story on the network from The Hollywood Reporter.

Featuring the network’s chief executive, Jeff Zucker, and other journalists and personalities, including Jake Tapper, Anthony Bourdain, Casey Neistat and W. Kamau Bell, the story focused on the future of the network in the digital age.

The future of media looks like this. Continue reading


Net Worked | March 4th, 2017

Perspective: It’s important

By Alex Veeneman

Students at USC’s Annenberg School have reinforced the importance of perspective and ideas in the digital age. (Photo: Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, Laura Davis of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism curated a series written by her students about how products affect trust with news organizations.

Journalism, in all its forms, finds itself in a quandary as the digital age. Yet, it goes beyond the consumption of it – but how trust can be maintained and ethics can be preserved. Continue reading


The Independent Journalist | February 27th, 2017

Let’s get personal: Essay-writing for journalists

By Hilary Niles

By guest blogger Hope Yancey

Back in 2010 and 2011, a section of my local newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, solicited short essays on the topic of style. I sent some on spec and eventually saw a few printed on various style-related topics — including my misguided preference for novelty holiday sweaters,  attempting to wear contact lenses,  thank-you notes as an indication of style and one misadventure in scarf-tying.

These lighthearted works were fun to write and brought in modest paychecks. Continue reading


First Draft | February 21st, 2017

5, Must-Know Standards Citizen Journalists Should Know and Practice

By Katie-Leigh Corder

Citizen journalism involves those who aren’t professionally trained in journalism to take part in one of the foundations of democracy by conducting their own reporting and interviewing. The rise of social media has allowed the number of citizen journalists to exponentially grow where information and visuals can be attained and shared in mere seconds. But there’s been skepticism regarding the growing number of citizen journalists and how they contribute, such as the accuracy of information, how that information is portrayed, and a lack of standard training unlike their professional counterparts. Continue reading


Net Worked | February 18th, 2017

Just click subscribe

By Alex Veeneman

Remarks by President Trump have raised questions on the roles of journalists. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

In New York, in the lobby of the hall at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University that bears his name, sits a plaque of a quote recorded in 1904 by the newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. It says: “Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.”

Its beginning is succinct, and is representative of American journalism’s role in a functioning democracy. Continue reading


First Draft | February 15th, 2017

Stuart McLean’s stories

By Alex Veeneman

The author and broadcaster Stuart McLean during a recording of the Vinyl Cafe radio show. McLean died Wednesday at 68. (Photo: Alana Elliott/Wikimedia Commons)

One of the first people I remember interviewing was a renowned Canadian journalist, author and broadcaster. It also happened to be an interview which I was late for, but nevertheless, was excited to do.

While the piece that accompanied the interview didn’t run, and I don’t remember very much about the conversation today, it was still an interview that I was excited to do.  Continue reading