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

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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
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.

Ed2010
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, JournalismJobs.com 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 mikebrannen.com.

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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.

Twitter/Tweetdeck

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 mikebrannen.com.

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What impressed me about the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute

Last weekend this Florida girl braved the freezing temps in Columbus, Ohio for the first session of the 2014/2015 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute. The program is funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation and brings journalists from all over the nation together to learn about leadership, managing a SPJ chapter and for networking. The dates for my region’s session didn’t work with my calendar so I was allowed to join the fine folks from Region 4.

There were five reasons the program impressed me.

1. Varying career levels in attendance

It was encouraging to see a sprinkling of student journalists in the program. They provided an interesting look at leadership from a SPJ student chapter level and their commitment to the program made me excited about the next generation of journalists. I was also happy to network with pros from all mediums including TV, newspaper and digital.

2. Individualized attention

The program didn’t feel cookie cutter to me. There were individualized materials and projects to suit my style of leadership.

3. Time for SPJ fun/networking

Both nights featured activities to promote networking and some good ‘ol fun. On the first night we gathered for dinner and afterward played some non-gambling casino games. The games were a great ice-breaker and a nice break from the day of learning. The second night we explored Columbus, had dinner at a local hotspot and had more time to chat about the journalism industry and digital.

4. Time for reflection

There’s a lot of information to process during the program but built in breaks and time for reflection helped me to think about how I lead and why I lead.

5. Valuable materials

We took a DiSC assessment during the program which pinpointed leadership and behavior styles. The assessment was complex but so rewarding. After answering a questionnaire the assessment places you into one of four types of leadership: dominant, steady, influence and conscientiousness. The assessment opened my eyes to why I lead the way I do and how I can work with other leadership styles to be successful.

Have you attended the leadership institute? What did you think?

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Scripps Columbus graduates Nov. 16, 2014

Checkout this Storify for a sneak peek at the weekend.

More info about the program here.

Tweet me @brandibroxson

Brandi Broxson is a magazine and digital editor at Naples Daily News in Naples, Florida. 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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SPJ Generation J: Our Next Chapter

Hi Everyone!

If you didn’t already know or had met me at EIJ14, my name is Claudia Amezcua the current SPJ Generation J Chair for almost a year now.  Since returning from Nashville to Los Angeles, i’ve spent some time enjoying the summer weather in the fall and countless hours in traffic letting everything the Gen J Committee aim to accomplish next year into perspective.

Our goals:

  1. We want to broaden the reach of our committee to include journalists of all career levels. We will like to be your concierge to the next stage of your life and make sure you become successful.
  2. We want to partner with other committees/communities and hold Google+ Hangouts about their specific specialties (ex: FOI, Diversity, etc.).
  3. Lastly, the most important goal that we aim to accomplish by next national convention is to transition from a “committee” to a “community.” After careful consideration, we began to noticed that we have all along been functioning as a community since the beginning.

Now, I am turning to you as an SPJ member and asking if you would be interested in getting involved in our community? We offer a diverse group of journalists working in different areas of journalism from across the nation.  We strongly believe that journalists can make a difference in the world by being armed with the right tools.

If this still sounds like something you will like to be a part of, have ideas, suggestions, tips, concerns, etc., please contact me at @ClaudiaAmezcua_ or camezcua2@gmail.com.

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Check your ego at the door

I am not afraid to ask for help.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I am certainly not afraid to ask for help when it comes to journalism. Especially when there are so many experts that predate my entrance into this field.

Now, my degree is in communication, not psychology, but I understand the internal strife that comes with not understanding an issue or knowing how to proceed with an idea. The thought of asking for help can be paralyzing. ‘I don’t want to need help – I want to understand how to tackle this issue on my own, dangit.’

It’s cool to have an ego, but maybe those of us who are still a few years out of the proverbial gate should take pause.

When I brought up the idea of this blog post to Jim Robertson, the managing editor of the newspaper I work at, the Columbia Daily Tribune, he nailed it: “It’s always helpful for experience to speak to inexperience.”

That’s so simple when you read it, but it isn’t as easy when you are trying to live it.

“I’ve seen ego prevent people from using resources that are right in front of them,” he told me. What an unfortunate reality of the young journalist’s ego. (I can say that – I’m 22.)

For the sake of honesty, I recently stumbled across a project that was an undertaking to say the absolute least. It’s the kind of project that would really benefit from the assistance of a person who specializes in data.

We produce one heck of a newspaper, but the Tribune is still relatively small and family owned. We unfortunately don’t have a data person on staff. But hey, don’t I pay dues to be part of a professional organization that links me to thousands of people in my shoes across the country? Yes, yes I do.

I reached out to a friend in the Society of Professional Journalists who immediately had a few names of data folks at other outlets who might be able to guide me through my project.

It’s not just data. We have a wealth of talent in SPJ of people to reach out to between freelance experts to record requests gurus. Join me in putting the determined-newcomer ego on the backburner. It’s time to tap into the mine that is our seasoned colleagues’ experiences.

Ashley Jost is the higher education reporter for the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri. She is a Truman State University alumna and a die-hard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

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A Newscast Producer’s Playlist

There are so many emotions producers experience over the course of one work day. Being a fan of music spanning several decades, I’ve come across a couple dozen songs that accurately capture what it’s like to be a TV newscast producer. I hope you enjoy my selections!

There’s no other way to describe what it is like working in a TV newsroom.

God only knows if our LIVEU backpack will work and give us a live picture. If it does, I pray the delay to talk with reporters remains under 5 seconds.

Some of the criminal complaints sent to our newsroom detail odd human behavior. Often, the reports are so weird, even filmmakers wouldn’t consider turning them into a movie.

What’s rain? I’m inside all day in a building with no windows.

Anchors: in studio with microphones checked more than 10 seconds before a newscast.

Reporters: at correct live location in time, also with microphones checked more than 10 seconds before a newscast.

For all of the morning show producers, a medley symbolizing the painfully sleepy hours and long shifts we work.

When I mean “You,” I mean my computer, because I don’t have time to look at anything else but my rundown and scripts.

Every day, producers are constantly juggling multiple issues. Stories are falling apart, computers are freezing, co-workers call in sick, and time is always running out. Sean Carter is lucky if his problems aren’t reaching triple digits.

Getting everything done while being pulled in different directions is very much like being a rubberband.

…said every control-freak producer.

  • Rude” – MAGIC!

Spokespersons, you know who you are.

Literally, the weekends are what I work for. Saturdays and Sundays are my boss, and they own me. Hooray for having off Monday and Tuesdays!

That someday I can work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, with 4 weeks vacation. That’s my fantasy, Luda.

  • The Message” – Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

“Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge.” That’s my message for co-workers minutes before showtime.

Also spot-on reflections of the final moments before a newscast.

…how I get my newscast done every night.

Because all producers need to relax once the show is done.

Doesn’t every producer need one filled after a newscast?

 

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 mikebrannen.com.

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Why Twitter should be a non-negotiable for journalists

I haven’t been able to get this article by Ann Friedman for the Columbia Journalism Review out of my head. The article raises the question: Can you still be an effective journalist if you ignore Twitter?

While I know it’s “possible” to be “effective” as a journalist without being on Twitter, I also know how much reporters and editors miss out on when they don’t change their egg profile photo and take the platform seriously. I’ll admit, I was a Twitter skeptic. It took Brian Stelter’s prodding in “Page One: Inside the New York Times” to get me to start taking the social media platform seriously. I’m glad I did.

A few weeks out of college I joined Twitter, started following a fellow graduate working at a newspaper in my hometown, connected with him via direct message and he recommended me for a job with the Naples Daily News. Three years later I’m still thinking about the value I saw in Twitter during those early moments of my profile.

Twitter is about having a conversation, something journalists are masters of between conducting phone interviews and gathering sources. Twitter is also about sharing your personality and adding some dimension to your byline.

Readers want to know we’re listening and seeing journalists engage with community members via Twitter is a primo way to show that.

Friedman’s article boils down to the decision-making process for why a journalist should or should not be on the platform. Her reasoning hits the nail on the head.

She says you need to be on Twitter if:

  • You’re planning on looking for another job one day.
  • You write about the media, pop culture or digital culture.
  • You want to provide a way for readers to contact you.
  • You want to network with other journalists or if you love words.

On the other hand, Friedman advises that you should ignore Twitter if:

  • You are completely secure at your job and have no interest in networking with other journalists.
  • You don’t enjoy playing around with words.
  • You are content with readers connecting with you in one way (via email).

When the decision is boiled down to those bullet points it becomes obvious how important the social media medium is and how crucial it is for editors to encourage use and reporters to follow suit.

So which decision did you make?

Tweet me @brandibroxson

Brandi Broxson is a magazine and digital editor at Naples Daily News in Naples, Florida. 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 story telling and makes a mean to-do list. Read more about her here.

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#ILoveMyJob, Even if ‘Journalist’ Isn’t In the Title

Imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time. If you’re like me, one of the first questions you ask is “what do you do,” which prompts them to ask you. What would you answer if I asked you that right now.

My first answer was always “a journalist in television production.” I haven’t been a hard news journalist in years, but I always identify as a journalist first. However, what it means to be a journalist and a media professional is changing.

I have always followed the philosophy of “adapt or die.” With a print journalism degree, graduating in 2010, I’ve pretty much had to adapt. My internships were all digital, my passion was digital and my first job was digital. I figured I could do traditional journalism in this new medium and rock it. Well, four years later, I’ve “rocked it,” but not in any way I ever could have imagined.

I’m someone who defines themselves by their job and I think a lot of journalists are the same way, so what happens when that definition changes? What do you do?

For a while, it didn’t bother me – I was working in entertainment television and still had a product I could see, touch and ask friends to #tunein to. Now, I’m a Creative Digital Producer at a branding agency. It’s a totally different path and is really much further from traditional journalism, but as I continue to do what I do, I’m realizing “journalism” has changed and I’ve changed with it.

Branding, social media strategy, content curation, Web video publishing — these are tools used by marketers, advertisers and journalists and, it is up to us to float seamlessly between the worlds in order to survive.

I write as I breathe – it’s just a part of who I am. I can’t stop writing any more than I can stop asking “why” and I will always have integrity and value ethics in my work. Isn’t that the making of a journalist? Didn’t we go into this to bring information to those who need to find it?

Sometimes, your path is a lot more of a straight path than you think. If you’re just graduating, embrace the technology, embrace the new world order, embrace digital.

Add your flair to this new world and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll find a job that loves you back… and there’s always blogging to feed those 5 W’s and an H, whenever you feel the itch ;).

Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts with me! @Giornalista515

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