Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Media Tools for Journalists--What I Learned

"Google is the new resume; your URL is the new business card," said Andy Drish as we began talking about blogs. Andy and Mike Sansone of  were part of the A Journalist's Guide to New Media workshop at Drake University February 28, 2009.  Earlier, Nathan Wright of Lava.row and Chris Snider of the Des Moines Register  offered insight on this rapidly evolving field, including these points: can help keep documents organized online. I work on three computers, so I can put all my documents together in cyberspace. I suppose they're safe unless cyberspace crashes.

Registering your blog at can help you get more readers. is a clearing house that connects reporters and sources. Not sure of this one.  I am unconvinced that this is the way to find experts for my health articles.

If your pix are on something like, you can edit them online are or Wonder why Photo Shop is free here?

Pageflakes is a great way to organize all your information.

You can use to add white noise on your computer in a noisy office. Cool. helps you make personal lists and, presumably, follow them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CJR to Study Print Magazines' Web Cousins

“It’s like the Wild West out there. Each magazine is making it up as it goes along, and nobody knows what anybody else is doing:” Victor Navasky, chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).

Navasky has announced that CJR is undertaking a major study to analyze print magazines' online practices and develop best-practice guidelines. Read the story here.

The survey will include:

• Who manages the site's editorial focus — the editor of the print magazine, or the editor of the Web site?
• Free material — how much content is given away for free, and how much is behind a paywall?
• Which magazines include materials from the print magazine completely and which add new material?
• By what percentage?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Magazine Industry is Alive and Least Some Parts of It

Magazines are dying? Tell that to these start-ups that are testing the media waters in mid-recession.

The newest display in the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies features these 2009 premiere issues, plus samples of 2008 start-ups:


BEST YOU: This magazine premiered with the February/March 2009 issue. It offers a healthy road to health, including “Beautiful Skin the Fast and Natural Way” and “Better Sex Tonight.” Natural Cosmo?

BLACK HEALTH: The December 2008 premiere issue says “Yes You Can! Avoid Weight Gain this Holiday Season.” Plus the standard anti-aging secrets and how to avoid weight gain.

SANDRA LEE SEMI-HOMEMADE: So, what does the “semi” mean here? Cooking with mixes but adding your own style, ala the Food Network’s Sandra Lee. We have the February/March 2009 premiere.

ORGANIC BEAUTY. February 2009 is the magazine’s premier issue, with the tagline: “green. natural. ecofriendly.” Olivia Wilde, from TV’s “House” is the cover model, offering “Natural Beauty Secrets.” No advice on dealing on air with a crazy man, apparently.

CULTURE. All about cheese—seriously—this magazine’s tagline is “the word on cheese.” The premiere issue, Winter 08, covers cheese desserts, Irish cheese arisans and San Franciso’s cheese trail.

2008 STARTS:  

THE AMERICAN DOG: Hey, people love their animals and will spend their limited resources to make sure Bowser is in good shape. We have the Winter, 2009 issue, with—of course—President Obama on the cover holding a hypoallergenic pup.

BEER: We might have cut down on martinis, but cut out beer—never! We have the March/April 2009 issue, which is the magazine’s 9th. It features beer reviews, with a cover story on the “Irish Twins:” Guinness and Beamish. Mmmmmmm. Beer…..

FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE. This publication offers you the chance to “Cook Like a Star,” with ideas from the network’s Bobby Flay, Sandra Lee and Guy Fieri. We have the February/March 2009 issue.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Doublecheck Before You Click

"The rush to post is no excuse for jettisoning journalistic standards:"  The American Journalism Review.

The editor and publisher of the American Journalism Review, Rem Rieder, has a timely essay on how the impulse to publish online now can hurt journalistic standards, especially accuracy. "The Internet, like newspapers and television and radio, is a platform. It is a very exciting platform. But that's all it is. Journalism remains journalism, no matter how it is disseminated. Standards matter. Accuracy matters. Context matters," Rieder says. Read it here.

On a side note, I misspelled Rieder's name in my original draft of this. Yoi!

America is Tweeting

In December 2008, 11 percent of online American adults reported using Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others, according to research from the Pew Research Center. The was a consistent increase from previous months: In November 2008, 9 percent of internet users used Twitter or updated their status online and in May 2008, the figure was 6 percent.  Could be an effect of the economy, with folks networking online.   Read the entire piece here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vibe Cuts Costs Without Cutting People

Here's a way to attack a slowing magazine economy while keeping your staff intact. In addition to being humane, it's good long-term planning—your staff remains on board and ready for a rebound.

Vibe is:
• reducing frequency from monthly to 10 times yearly;
• reducing the rate base from 800,000 to 600,000;
• implementing a four-day work week at 10-15-percent lower pay so that all employees can keep their jobs.

Good for Vibe!

A Journalist's Guide to New Media Conference at Drake

A Journalist’s Guide to New Media
February 28, 2009
Meredith Hall, Room 104, Drake University
Sponsored by the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies

New and evolving media tools have changed how journalists research, network with other professionals and clients, and even manage job searches. This one-day workshop shows how to use tools such as RSS feeds, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Facebook, Linked In, and Google alerts to get a job, improve your journalistic skills, expand your freelance opportunities and, most important, become a better communicator.

Cost: $50, includes coffee reception and lunch. Pay at the door. Checks payable to Drake University

To register: Contact Shari Tenney in the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication, or 271-3194. Limited number of seats available.

For more information: Contact Patricia Prijatel, director, E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies,

8-9:30: Coffee Reception

8:30-10:30: Your New Media Tool Kit: Chris Snider, Des Moines Register
30 online tools every journalist and professional communicator needs to know about.

10:30-12:30: Using the Tools: Chris Snider, Des Moines Register
A hands-on workshop on efficiently using and organizing online information with RSS Feeds, Google Alerts, and other online tools

12:30-1: Lunch break

1-3: Social Media: Nathan Wright of Lava Row
A hands-on workshop on getting the most out of social media—Twitter, wikis, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Using the tools to link effectively with clients, other professionals, and potential employers.

3-3:15: Break

3:15-5:00: Blogging: Mike Sansone,
A hands-on workshop on creating your own blog.