All The President’s Men and their ethics

January 20, 1973 — Inauguration Day in Washington.

In the newsroom of The Washington Post, reporters discuss stories while Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward sit and type at their desks. Simultaneously, televisions in the newsroom air the scene of Richard Nixon being sworn in for his second term as President of the United States.

Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting had been the subject of national attention leading up to the final moments of the 1972 campaign for the Watergate Scandal, a scandal that would see Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

After his inauguration, the teletype machine shows the headlines and events that followed. That scene signifies the end of the film All The President’s Men, released 40 years ago, and it ranks as one of the top films about journalism that have been released over the course of the last century.

The 1976 film, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, invigorated a generation’s interest in the profession, believing in the value of public service journalism, the idea that holds all politicians and those in power to account, the idea that journalism can make a positive effort in society.

Though it showcases the fundamentals of journalism, it also presents a reminder that such journalism must be guided by ethics and judgment — that conscious, mindful journalistic ethics, including those at the center of newsgathering, help guide the construction of such a narrative, and that a level-headed judgment that is fair and impartial, and has no intention of malice, drive the language of such a story.

The film All The President's Men, examining the work of reporters like Bob Woodward, give a reminder of the importance of ethics to all journalists. (Photo: Jim Wallace/Smithsonian/Wikimedia Commons)

The film All The President’s Men, examining the work of reporters like Bob Woodward, give a reminder of the importance of ethics to all journalists. (Photo: Jim Wallace and Smithsonian/Wikimedia Commons)

For those who are starting their careers in journalism, the idea of ethics is crucial. Ethics will guide you from story development and conception to putting it in its final stages, whether it will end up on the front page of a web site or newspaper, or take the form of a script that will end up as a broadcast on radio or television.

The SPJ Code of Ethics embodies the principles of ethics through 4 key values — seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable and transparent. Even though the consumption and dissemination of journalism has evolved, the ideas at the core of this code applies, as I wrote over on the Net Worked blog this past April outlining it for Twitter.

The Code of Ethics is not mandatory, nor is it there to intimidate or designed to look down upon certain journalists. Instead, the role of the Code of Ethics is a guide to help you be a better journalist, to help you do your job better and to support your colleagues, either through collaboration on a story, advising, or other means.

In the film, Woodward and Bernstein exercised ethics, from their newsgathering and verification, to owning up to mistakes, notably the article from October 1972 in the Post, which said that the White House Chief of Staff at the time, H.R. Halderman, had controlled a fund within the Nixon Administration that had been at the core of the scandal and part of the contents found at the break-in, according to contents of court testimony to a jury from the treasurer of Nixon’s 1972 campaign, Hugh Sloan.

Even though the means of how journalism is presented are changing, the fundamental goals of journalism are not. Ethics therefore are a necessity to help guarantee fair, accurate, impartial reporting, to build trust with your audience, to enhance your credibility, to showcase the reason why journalism is regarded as ubiquitous with public life, and quintessential to the future of democracy.

Whether or not you are writing a 140 character message on Twitter, a script for a 3 minute radio segment, a 450 word web site piece or a 900 word piece that will end up on the front page of your newspaper tomorrow, a good story is a story that can be held to ethical standards, and a journalist that can be held to ethical standards can be a successful journalist.

It is why resources like the Code of Ethics are worth saving for reference. No matter what beat you cover or what medium you work, these resources are designed to help you be a better journalist, to ensure the narrative of your story remains strong, and the content that you produce can educate, inform, stimulate and enlighten, time and again.

Yet, the benefits of resources like the Code of Ethics go beyond the journalists themselves. They go toward the people who matter most of all in this line of work — our audience.

Editor’s note: Ethical queries on stories can be made to the SPJ Ethics Committee through the Ethics Hotline, either by telephone (1-317-927-8000 X 208) or by email. Inquiries and messages will be forwarded to the Committee for response.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of the SPJ Digital community, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and a contributor to the SPJ blog network. 

Outside of SPJ, Veeneman is a Managing Editor and contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post unless otherwise specified are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Generation J community, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.

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Supporting women studying journalism

Recent studies show that more women are studying journalism around the world, including in London, than men. (Photo: Pixabay)

Recent studies show that more women are studying journalism around the world, including in London, than men. (Photo: Pixabay)

Beginning in a few weeks, students will transition back to educational life at university — some for the first time, as others return to continue, or complete, their degrees. This also holds true in the case of those studying journalism. But as classes resume, the industry as a whole continues to change, and many students are wondering about their prospects, and if their degree will pay off.

Last June, with the help of a scene from the TV show Frasier, I wrote a post on the Net Worked digital blog, advocating for journalism students, especially those who just graduated. I believe that each student that walks through the doors of a university’s journalism program is a necessity to our profession, in spite of the industry changes and debate, and the economic downturn.

Whether you study at a large journalism school or in a small program, the contribution that you are making to this industry is profound, significant and something to be proud of. You have chosen a great field to pursue a career in, and despite all that is being said about journalism’s future, there will always be a need for journalists in the world.

Yet, as students return, a trend continues to unfold — more women are studying journalism compared to men. Many studies, most notably from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in the UK, have indicated an increase in women studying at journalism programs in countries including Britain and the US, despite men holding the majority of the positions in the industry.

Indeed, 2013 data from the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Enrollment (the latest available) indicated that women made up approximately 64 percent of undergraduate journalism students in the US.

At Kettle Magazine, the UK based publication which I edit and contribute to, the majority of our editors are women (of the 25 currently held editor posts, including editor-in-chief, 15 are held by women). Their dedication and contributions to the profession have allowed Kettle to become a better publication, and for journalism itself to be a better industry.

Indeed, there are many female journalists (to borrow a portion of the slogan from the Poynter newsletter The Cohort) kicking ass in media — from Katie Hawkins-Gaar at the Poynter Institute, Tory Starr at public broadcaster WGBH and Laura Davis of the University of Southern California, to some of my SPJ colleagues, including Sarah Bauer Jackson, Robyn Davis Sekula and Elle Toussi, as well as many others around the world.

The role women in journalism play is paramount to the success of this industry, for the ideas they have can help reinvigorate our profession. Therefore, not only must we champion women currently in the industry, but it is detrimental that we support those who are studying it, whether they are starting out their degrees, or progressing towards their completion.

We must give them opportunities during their studies to hone their craft and their role in the industry. This can be done by expanding mentoring programs, allowing women studying journalism to shadow and be mentored by women currently working in the industry, to help them network, to help them see life in the industry firsthand, to help them emerge from their degrees eager to make their mark on this profession.

We must also provide opportunities to help women boost their leadership skills and their confidence — to encourage them to share their ideas and insight, for the ideas they share and the decisions they make will ensure journalism can be stronger and sustain itself amidst uncertain trends.

Women represent the future of journalism, and we must champion them and support them in any way we can. We must do it for not just their future, but for the future of this industry.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of the SPJ Digital community, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and a contributor to the SPJ blog network. 

Outside of SPJ, Veeneman is a Managing Editor and contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post unless otherwise specified are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Generation J community, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.

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Why Our First TV Bosses Gave Us Our First Jobs

By: Kristyn Caddell, SPJ Gen J National Writer
Twitter: @KCaddellTV





Television Reporter Lindsay Cohen says she owes her first news job to a painting dog, while Investigative Producer Lynn Walsh feels it was her enthusiasm that sealed her first tv deal. And, for me, I have always credited landing my first gig to a cross country journey and the ability to carry around a 75 pound DVC pro camera even when I had no clue how to turn the thing on…

We all remember the moment it happened…when we got the long-awaited, much anticipated call, and maybe the person on the other end said something like this. “ Sure I will give you a shot…it will be on the 3 am shift, on the weekend, you’ll be standing in the freezing cold weather and you might have to shoot your own video and oh, by the way you’ll be living in Presque Isle Maine ( DMA #206) with a paycheck totaling a whopping $13,000 a year….but THAT my friends was all we needed!

While teaching and mentoring journalism students I am constantly asked the same question how did you get your first job and what do we need to do to break into this ever-changing industry. Some journalists are fortunate enough now and don’t have to move to the smallest market in the country and can even score big and get their own photographer, but all still have to catch the eye of a news director.

So what better way to find out what it is was that made the news bosses of journalists around the country give them their first jobs than ask them. And, this a step further and compare notes with what we journalists have long thought the answers were.

So back to Lindsay Cohen, probably one of my favorite reporters to watch because of her way with words..Just when you think she can’t possibly squeeze another subtle pun into her storytelling she does it beautifully and without the cheese.


Lindsay Cohen Anchor/Reporter

First Job: Reporter
First Boss: Paul Conti
Station: WNYT, Albany, New York

Why Lindsay thinks she got the job: “I often joke that I owe my first job to a painting dog. It was the kicker on my resume tape. Paul wasn’t looking for a reporter when I sent him work, but I called him up and asked him if he’d take a look. When I asked for feedback a week later, he gave me his overall insight, and told me he was impressed by the writing on that piece. He then threw a pop quiz at me. Paul was famous for that. He asked, “how many senators does New York have? Who are they? What’s the top story in the country today?” He asked this of all his candidates. I think he wanted to make sure his employees had some basic smarts — and could also talk on the fly about the top news of the day. After making my way through that, he told me they just had a part-time job open up for a weekend reporter. ”

Why Paul Conti says she got the job: “ I hired Lindsay twice!!! The first time was for a vacation relief position at the TV station. During my tenure as news director staffing was not as great a challenge as it is now. Normally when I hired a vacation relief reporter I hoped that individual could do basic reporting on some simple spot news. In a short period of time I could tell that Lindsay’s talents exceeded routine accidents and fires. She is great at enterprising stories, which is not easy to find in a reporter. And she is a great story teller. I liked to tell my middle managers at the station that you can coach a young journalist on how to do a more appealing standup or how to tighten up a script but you can’t coach smart. Lindsay is smart. As the vacation relief job wound down I lobbied to get a full time reporter position. I must have promised something horrible to the budget people because investing in additional payroll positions was never an easy lift. Everything I knew to be true about Lindsay as a vacation relief reporter was certainly evident during her time as a full time reporter. As an experienced, veteran reporter in Seattle her Emmy wins are a testimony to her skill set.


Jay Cashmere Anchor/Reporter

First Job: One-Man Band Reporter
First Boss: Rebekah Caldwell-Mason; Mike Sullivan
Stations: WJRD Tuscaloosa, Alabama ; WTOC Savannnah, Georgia

Why Jay thinks he got the job: “I think my first bosses gave me my jobs because I was motivated and eager to get experience and that’s what it’s all about. My first job was at a small start-up WJRD in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I was a one-man band reporter making only $13,000. After about a year Mike Sullivan at WTOC in Savannah, Georgia gave me a shot in a bigger market. I consider both these bosses as giving me my first shot in the business because of how quickly I moved from one station to the next. It’s not about the amount of money you make; it’s about how much experience you can get that will help push you into your next job in a bigger market.
You have to be hungry for experience and not feel entitled to it. This industry has humble beginnings, but can give you a front row seat to the world’s biggest stories.”

Why Mike Sullivan says he got the job: “Jay had a fantastic attitude. He showed us that energy and positive outlook when we interviewed him and he never lost it. Our initial appraisal held true . He grew professionally and just as importantly he was a great person to have in the newsroom. A young reporter may not have the best audition tape in the stack, but if he or she demonstrated motivation and enthusiasm we could always work with them to improve their skills. ”


Kristyn Caddell, Reporter

First Job: Photographer
First Boss: Scott Howard
Station: KHSL-TV Chico, California

Why Kristyn thinks she got the job: “I graduated from college, packed up my Mustang and headed west with all of my belongings and the resume tape I made during my internship. By the time I got to the station, Scott had no choice but to give me a job because the reality was I drove 3,000 miles to pursue my passion. After two days he offered me a photographer job ( I had no clue how to shoot at the time) and three months later; I was on-air reporting. I always listened to every critique from anyone who had something to say and knew there was always room to get better.  So, whenever I was told to ditch the large man blazers with shoulder pads, I did!

Why Scott Howard says she got the job: “Kristyn was hungry for the job and hungry to be good at it. And ,the clincher was when Chico had its only high-rise fire ever (Chico State ninth floor dorm fire) and she was my only option to go live… (Main anchor Matt Keller broke his hand playing basketball on his break). Kristyn didn’t blink an eye when I said “we need you to go live.” We packed up the live truck, headed down to the campus for her first official spot news live shot and she nailed it. I say “official” because I’m not counting the time she took (snuck) the live truck out on her own to do a Saturday live shot
at some psychic fair!!!! That’s being hungry, I guess….”


Lynn Walsh, Investigative Producer

First Job: 4PM Producer
First Boss: Pat Casey (Pat Casey passed away in 2011.
Station: WKEF, Dayton, Ohio

Why Lynn thinks she got the job: “I was enthusiastic, passionate and eager to work. I showed my willingness and ability to do just about anything they might need in the newsroom.”

*Pat Casey spent thirty years helping propel television newsrooms and programs around the country. He not only worked at WKEF, but also at stations in Baltimore, Washington, Los Angeles and Cincinnati.


Renee Lavine, Photographer

First Job: Photographer
First Boss: David Williams
Station: KLPC, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Why Renee thinks she got the job: “They had a photographer position open for four months. I was local and was able to take the low-paying salary and live at home with my parents. I had just graduated and had a resume tape with three packages that I shot and edited.”

Why David Williams says she got the job: “As you can probably imagine hiring employees in such a small market can be difficult. Thankfully, Renee was a native of the area and knew a lot about Lake Charles. She also had a great attitude and was willing to do whatever was needed for the position. Small market TV needs people with a positive attitude like Renee had early in her career.”

Up until now, we never thought to ask our bosses why we got hired… For many of us it’s twelve years later hearing what it was that got us our first gigs.
The running theme here seems to be a good attitude and the will to do whatever it takes. You might not know how to turn the camera on, but you can figure that out. You might be scared to move to the middle of nowhere, but you’ll be fine. You might think ad-libbing the fire of the century is impossible, but it isn’t. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, because you always can.

Be different. Be versatile. Be YOU .
**Thank you to all of the journalists and news managers who contributed to this article.

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The best opportunities come by speaking up

By Alex Veeneman for Generation J

This past June, I began an interview with this simple question: “Why?”

My interviewee, on the other end of the telephone line, was Ari Shapiro, the NPR correspondent who at the time was based in London, taking a brief pause from his reporting to guest host Morning Edition for a couple of weeks from Washington.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to get his take on covering the UK’s most recent general election, and life as an American covering Britain, in an age where American coverage solely featured the Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge (or Kate Middleton as they’d prefer to call her) and the rest of the Royal Family.

Many British media outlets had been engaging with American audiences with this election, which saw David Cameron’s Conservative Party achieve an unexpected majority, the dominance of the Scottish National Party, and changes in the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. It was a story Shapiro covered through his lens as an American.

Yet, I was curious to know why Shapiro made the jump, after years of covering The White House and the Justice Department, beats many reporters would dream of.

“I was excited to be a journalist again,” Shapiro told me, saying he was no longer part of a pack of correspondents doing the same story. “I can pivot from arts to business to politics, and everything in between.”

What he said resonated with me, long after the interview concluded, the initial article filed. It still does.

A year earlier, I had finished my Bachelor’s Degree. Going in, I had no idea what I wanted to do in journalism – all I knew was I wanted to work in it. I was going to see what happened and where I’d end up. That was still my thought process – until I received a notification in early 2012 of a new Twitter follower.

The follower was identified as Kettle, an online publication out of London that was starting up. I reviewed their web site and liked what I saw. I then wrote an email to Leon Wingham, expressing an interest in contributing. Wingham said yes, and I began as a contributor that April. Since then I served as their first political editor, their first media editor, working my way up to Deputy Editor, being encouraged along the way by Wingham, my colleagues, and the most important person who helped me get my start – my mom.

Along the way were wonderful opportunities, from organizing coverage of the prestigious BBC Proms culture festival to interviews with people at the heart of the UK’s current events, making sense of what happened, to something I never suspected I would do – teach, all done from 3,000 miles away, at my desk in Chicago.

I loved what my colleagues were doing, what contributions they were making, and how they made wonderful work, all while trying to get ready for a career in the media. I became interested in the British media, and what lies ahead for it in the digital age. I also made a number of new friends, many of whom I’ve not met face to face, but hope to.

I was inspired, and no time zone difference or international dialing code would change that. If it weren’t for Marshall McLuhan’s vision of the global village, all the technological advances that came with it, and the encouragement I received from my mom and others, I wouldn’t be doing what I do now, and I still wouldn’t have known what I really wanted to do in journalism. All I had to do was speak up.

Three and a half years since that Twitter notification, I maintain that joining Kettle was one of the best things I ever did. I hope to pursue graduate studies in the UK to not only pursue my hope of teaching the next generation of journalists, but to get the education I’ve been receiving all this time about British life in a new way – on the ground.

My fellow Americans, Britain is so much more than the Royal Family. It is one of the most interesting and fascinating places in the world, and in this digital age where the world is connected, it is gratifying that a young journalist from Chicago can be the one who tells these stories, just by doing one simple thing – speaking up.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and a blogger for SPJ’s blog network. Veeneman is also an editor and writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter @alex_veeneman.

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Making the Best Use of Your Time at EIJ (Which Isn’t Easy to Do!)

I know The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando is so hard to pass up for journalists of the Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin leanings (does anyone really want to be in Hufflepuff?). But, if you really want to take full advantage of EIJ 2015, I suggest leaving your Ollivander-made wand at home, and come ready with your Muggle Androids and Apple devices.

How can you make the best use of your time at EIJ 2015? Plan ahead. It’s simple, it’s boring, but it works. Now that we have the big picture out of the way, let’s take a look at a micro-view of planning.

EIJ’s Value
The first question to ask yourself is “what do I find most valuable about EIJ?” Determine if it is networking, breakout sessions, workshops, board meetings, after-hours socializing, or something else in between. Perhaps you can rank those options. Whatever you feel is the most important, find a way to prioritize it and give yourself ample time at the conference to fulfill your needs.

Selecting Sessions
I’ve found one of the most valuable aspects of EIJ are the fresh, unique, eye-opening ideas presented during breakout sessions. Every year, I’ve walked away with new ways to approach my job as a newscast producer. Not every session is mind-blowing; some reinforce what you already know. I suggest before arriving in Orlando, you should go on the EIJ website to review every session available, and select ones you *must see, ones you will consider, and ones you can pass. You may have two sessions that you can’t miss, or you might have seven. I select some sessions where I feel I can learn something new. I also select some sessions that are not quite in my realm of familiarity, so I am exposed to a new environment.

Leave Room for Flexibility
Even with all the planning you’ll do, you can’t make it too rigid. An opportunity might appear on Friday in which you need to take advantage the next day. That’s why prioritizing sessions or meetings allows you to skip the less important ones.

For those who are young and looking for a job, find people who are in a hiring positions, and introduce yourself. You are allowed to be selective in the people you approach because you are on a mission. But keep in mind, even the ones who aren’t hiring, might know someone else not attending EIJ who might want you as an employee. Use your judgment to gauge how much time to spend with those folks. Remember, your time is limited; you won’t be able to meet everyone over the weekend. Organize specific times each day in which you can best meet and speak with the top people you have in mind.

Break Your Social Circle
For the college students attending with peers: get away from them. I know it is easy and comfortable to stick with each other and approach a manager in a pack. I’ve done it myself. But you want to show you have an assertive side, and
can stand on your own two feet. Let them know it’s not personal if you are going at it alone. You’ll have plenty of time to spend with friends/peers on campus, but these managers won’t be there too.

Schedule Meet-Ups
For repeat attendees, book a little bit of time to meet with journalism peers in other cities. I’ve enjoyed the side meetings with Generation J members who come from different backgrounds. There are brilliant people everywhere at this conference.

An hour before dinner. Re-charge your battery for everything that happens once the sun goes down.

Turn-Off/Loosen Up
My favorite non-journalism aspects of the conference are always at night. The Opening Night Reception and EIJ Dance are a terrific way to connect with others on a personal, non-work related way. Not only is it an opportunity to have fun, but you can demonstrate the ability to separate journalism from other things you enjoy.
Mike Brannen is the executive producer of the KOB-TV morning newscast in Albuquerque, NM. Previously, he was a newscast producer at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul and KIRO-TV in Seattle. He received an MA in Broadcast Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010 and received his Bachelor of Journalism degree the year before. The Milwaukee, WI native shares more about his life at

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How to make the most out of #EIJ15

Note: This post has been adapted from a previous post about attending #EIJ12
The Excellence in Journalism Conference is right around the corner. Whether you are still deciding to go or not, or already have everything booked, here are some things to think about.

You can’t enjoy the experience fully without being there. Yes, people will be tweeting from the sessions, but to fully benefit from the sessions and the experience you need to be there. Nothing beats face-to-face interaction with some of the biggest names in the news business. Just by showing up, you put yourself in a whole other category.Attend sessions. There is a little bit of everything here. Ethics, social media, news leadership — they have it all. There are even “tracks” that you can follow for a very individualized experience. Go to the sessions, ask questions, take notes and follow-up with people presenting AND listening.Consider workshops. These offer a more in-depth look at certain tools and skills. A great way to really add on to your training experience. They are a great way to get more bang for your buck while at the conference.

Get out. As the saying goes, sometimes it’s about who you know, not what you know. And this conference offers a great opportunity to get to know the right people in this industry. From the opening reception to award dinners, there is an opportunity each night to put your face and name out there. On top of that, there are opportunities for resume critiques and one-on-one feedback sessions with some of the best journalists.

Be prepared. Come ready to learn, network and have fun. Bring all the essentials: business cards, resumes, questions, etc. But, most importantly check the schedule, see who is going to be there. See someone you want to meet, or a session you just cannot miss? Reach out to the person before the conference starts. Schedules book quickly and people like to know someone is excited to meet them.

Conferences can be overwhelming and more importantly they can be tiring, but, in the end they are worth all of the travel headaches — but as with anything, what you get out of them, depends on what you put in.

I may be biased (I am actively involved with both journalism organizations and gladly consider myself an RTDNA & SPJ cheerleader) but I think we would all agree on this: News is a tough business. It can get lonely, it can be vicious and it can be tiring. But, at the end of the day it is a business that is very rewarding and more importantly fun. Some days are tough and you even sometimes consider switching to PR — but it is conferences like this one that can offer a refreshing experience.

It’s an opportunity to meet fellow journalists that also have the same passion you do for news, media and information. It’s an opportunity to learn news things, connect with new people or old colleagues and be inspired. Hope to see you there!

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist currently leading the investigative team at KNSD in San Diego, California. She is the Secretary-Treasurer for SPJ’s national board as well. She loves holding the powerful accountable and spends more time than she would like fighting for access to public information. Follow her on Twitter, @LWalsh, Tumblr, or contact her via email:

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Five job sites you should be using now (and always)


Graduation is coming up in a couple of months for many of you. I have no doubt that you’re compiling portfolios and preparing to turn your tassel and bust into the news world with reporter’s notebooks blazing. In addition to finishing up your classes and internships and building relationships with fellow students (your future colleagues and bosses) let me also give you one piece of advice: Don’t wait until graduation to start applying to jobs.

Applying for jobs from May through August can best be likened to an episode of “Survivor.” The applicant pool will be flooded and it will be harder to stand out and let your accomplishments shine.  Take an hour or two each week and start making connections. If you’re planning to move, start a search of local publications and familiarize yourself with the playing field. One of my favorite ways to network is via social media (it got me my first job). Track down the names of hiring managers and leaders of news organizations and start following their updates on Twitter. Larger news organizations like Time Inc. and Condé Nast even have their own career twitter handles.  Engage with updates and offer your comment. Make relationships before you need to reach out.

OK, one more little piece of advice: Always be searching for jobs (even if you’re comfortable where you are now). It’s good practice to keep your resume/portfolio site fresh and to keep an eye out for opportunities. Browsing available job offerings is a great way to see where the journalism industry is headed. It’s also a smart way to motivate yourself in the position you’re currently in.

Here are five sites I recommend when you start/continue your search:

LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn is a good first step in your job search. Make sure your profile is updated with information (similar to what you’d put in a resume) and add connections you’ve worked with. LinkedIn recently rolled out its Job Search app which makes it pretty easy to check out open positions in the journalism field. What I like about it is that when you open a job listing, LinkedIn will display connections you already have to the company. This makes it easy to reach out directly to connections you already have about job prospects. With LinkedIn Premium (it’s a paid service but you can get one month free) you can view how you would compare to other applicants based on the information in your profile. The decision to apply to a job is more encouraging when you see that you’d be in the top percentile of applicants. LinkedIn also allows you to apply with your profile in some cases which lessens the application process time.

MediaBistro’s job board is another top place to search for positions. The advanced search categories allow you to select which industry you are interested in and filter jobs that way. MediaBistro also has a freelance marketplace (paid subscription required) which allows you to make a profile and allow editors (looking for freelancers) to come to you.

If you’re specifically looking for magazine jobs you’ll want to follow ED2010’s Whisper Jobs online and on Twitter. The site rounds up positions with a variety of magazines and allows you to search for paid/unpaid internships and full/part-time jobs. It’s one of my favorites.

Journalism Jobs
Journalism Jobs is one of the oldest and most popular sites for job searching in the industry. According to the site’s “About Us” blurb, receives 2.5 to 3 million page views per month. What I also like about the site is that you can set job alerts. These alerts will come to your inbox and notify you when a position within your search criteria (salary, location, title) is posted.

MEO Jobs
MEO Jobs combines listings from media, communications and the arts and compiles them into a daily email sent right to your inbox. This daily job newsletter is smart for thinking outside of the typical “news job” box and opening your mind to other possibilities. The MEO site also features direct links to the career centers of major organizations like Time Inc., Facebook and NPR which saves you a step. The jobs are aggregated and moderated by Marc E. Oppenheim, Associate Dean of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.

Which sites do you use when searching for jobs?

Comment below or tweet me @brandibroxson

Brandi Broxson is a magazine and digital editor with a knack for storytelling. She’s won awards for her writing from Florida Press Club and is a recent graduate of the Ted Scripps Leadership Program. Brandi is the producer of a weekly show centering on philanthropies called Good Work SWFL and also is the creator of a bi-monthly podcast focused on writing and social life. In addition to her editor roles she also acts as Facebook coordinator for SPJ’s Generation-J community and serves on SPJ’s Digital committee as  LinkedIn and Google+ coordinator. She’s passionate about social media and makes a mean to-do list. Read more about her here.

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No More Shaming

By Mike Brannen

If there is one resolution journalists should honor in 2015, I suggest the end of journalist shaming. From the widely-circulated articles to the less-public comments, the assault on journalists who make mistakes (particularly the unintentional ones) must stop.

The Columbia Journalism Review’s “Worst Journalism of 2014” picked people and agencies that it felt was worthy of disgracing. Even if you agree with the list, my question is whether this was necessary to create, or even publish. Sure, it picked up readers (particularly current and former journalists), but at what cost? Does the value of page hits outweigh the need to throw journalists and agencies under the bus? I denounce the public condescension and insulting of media for personal gain. The discrediting of others only breeds more division within media, and more disgust between media and the audience. The impact of such hatred is more toxic than constructive.

Digging a bit deeper, Media Bistro covers “the news about local news.” It finds the interesting, quirky, controversial, and funny stories that happen at TV affiliates across the country. While Media Bistro professionally removes its opinions from the article it posts, the controversial stories unsurprisingly results in some nasty comments. I surmise the readers making comments here are mostly like the ones who read the CJR; they are likely current and former newsies. It is  disappointing that journalists make vile judgements through a pseudonym. There is nothing for them to gain by making an anonymous comment; it merely is a cheap shot.

I do not support plagiarism, lies, the deliberate distortion of facts, and many other unacceptable intentional behaviors some journalists perform. However, we should not feel obligated to pounce on the failure of others in order to attract public favor for ourselves.

Let’s dedicate the next year to encouraging and supporting the anchors, reporters, editors, producers, and photographers who are sincerely working hard, and yet are still prone to making mistakes. If that happens, I’ll reserve my opinions to myself.

Mike Brannen is a newscast producer for KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Before that, he was a producer for KIRO7 in Seattle, where he led the 4:30 a.m. show to a #1 share in the U.S. for that time slot. He received an MA in Broadcast Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010 and received his Bachelor of Journalism degree the year before. He shares more about his life at

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Five websites journalists should bookmark

As journalists we thrive on staying informed. In addition to keeping up with beats, sources and daily responsibilities I also find it important to stay up to speed with the industry. Finding out what methods and ideas other organizations are trying, how news is breaking on social media platforms and how digital continues to impact print are among the topics I seek out. I make time in the morning to catch up on the latest from the global journalism community and share the findings with my newsroom.

Here are the top five websites/newsletters I start my day with:

American Press Institute newsletter
This daily newsletter is at the top of my to-read list each morning. From digital developments to management advice, this newsletter is a really fabulous aggregate of the stories you need to know about in the journalism industry.

Editor & Publisher newsletter
This monthly publication offers a newsletter which also includes news and happenings in journalism. The daily email features a classifieds section with career opportunities for job-searching journalists too.

Reddit (In The News)
This Reddit thread is in my bookmark bar and I’ll click over to it throughout the day to see what news stories, YouTube videos, blog posts etc. are trending. Reddit is a great source for following breaking news and contains valuable information (with the right vetting). Reddit is a traffic driver for many news sites so understanding how it works is essential.

Jim Romenesko
Romenesko’s blog was one of the first industry-related sites I started following in college at the suggestion of a J-school professor. “His eponymous blog provides daily news, commentary, and insider information about journalism and media and is popular among professionals in the industry.” (Via Wikipedia) Romenesko’s commentary is witty and the posts on his Facebook page contain a good amount of discussion from other journalists. If news is breaking in the journalism industry you can bet that he’s on it.

NPR Social Media Desk
This Tumblr page is a must-visit for digital journalists and social media managers. NPR’s @mkramer and @wrightbryan3 manage the site and share what social strategies work best for NPR and shout out success stories from other news organizations. There’s a treasure trove of tips and information on this site and it’s definitely come in handy to me as a digital producer.

Which sites make your must-read list? Tweet me @brandibroxson

Brandi Broxson is a magazine and digital editor at Naples Daily News in Naples, Fla. In addition to Generation-J, she also serves on SPJ’s Digital committee as Google+ coordinator. Brandi graduated from the University of Central Florida with a journalism degree and has been part of the ever-changing industry for eight years. She’s passionate about social media and storytelling and makes a mean to-do list. Read more about her here.

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Journalists Are Thankful For

Post by Mike Brannen

It may be cliche, but this is a good weekend to take time and recognize all the things TV newscast producers should be thankful for. Without these things, it would be much harder to get our job done.

Email/Cell Phones

It is hard to fathom how reporters and managers successfully communicated between each other without a cell phone or email access. Veteran journalists somehow gathered information and interviews in the field, came back to the station, and filed a report, despite having very little conversation with a manager or editor. Amazingly, they pulled it off. I am thankful we’ve moved past the “dark days” of communicating. But, it is also amusingly ironic that with cell phones and email that you could argue communication still hasn’t improved.

Great Enterprise/Dogged Reporters

I call them the “rock stars” of the newsroom. They come to the table with terrific ideas when it’s a slow news day. When a story demands a reporter who can hunt down the key interview with a victim/witness, they get it done. They have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, and make magical things happen for newscasts. I am thankful they have the determination to go the extra mile for our station.

Easily reachable experts

We face a story where the key source is only offering a pithy statement. We face a story where we need someone to provide intelligent, meaningful context. We have experts who can bail us out. They are knowledgeable, well-read, well-spoken, and readily available. The last trait is particularly valuable, because time is never on our side before deadline. I am thankful we have a good rolodex of these people.

Feature stories

I’m not talking about your dayturn, fluffy, soft news story. I’m talking about the five-minute long report saved for a holiday when news is as scarce as water in a desert. It’s a good story that eats up time in my newscast, without making viewers change the channel. A win-win for producers. I am thankful these make holidays newscast less tough to stack.

Patient Directors

I’ve had directors who don’t budge an inch about what they expect from producers, and don’t tolerate pre-show errors. I’ve also had directors who have wiggle room about ideas, and respectfully point out mistakes before air. I greatly prefer the latter, and am thankful for their patience and professionalism.


I can’t count how many story tips and ideas I’ve found through my constant stream of tweets. From breaking news, to sports updates, to potential interviewees, to “water cooler” stories, I am thankful for the platform that provides a variety of newsworthy information.

Finally, I am thankful for the incomparable community of journalists who understand the challenges we all face.  We’re able to share our stories of tough days, sympathize with each other, and move on. It is great to have support from wonderful people who know exactly what it takes to work in news.


Mike Brannen is a newscast producer for KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Before that, he was a producer for KIRO7 in Seattle, where he led the 4:30 a.m. show to a #1 share in the U.S. for that time slot. He received an MA in Broadcast Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010 and received his Bachelor of Journalism degree the year before. He shares more about his life at

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