While WriteThru seeks to help journalists learn about the huge variety of technology options out there, there are more than enough topics to go around. Fortunately, there are plenty of mainstream sites that provide free tutorials as well as educational videos.
A relatively new player called Howcast, for example, offers short educational videos on a wide range of topics, reports The New York Times. While the site does not have a lot of depth yet, it is growing quickly.
Live Citizen, a citizen journalism site currently in beta testing, is offering $20 an article, according to its ad on JournalismJobs.com. The Los Angeles-based company wants journalists to sign up for 3-month contracts, which require 2 to 6 stories each week AND a video broadcast lasting from 5 to 15 minutes each. Stories are expected to be more than 350 words.
It’s easy to see why Live Citizen is looking for more journalists. The newest story on Business & Tech was almost two weeks old at the time I wrote this post. The World and U.S. sections seem more current, but do not have a lot of depth.
While there are plenty of online options for building forms,
Wufoo.com is fun and easy. Why do you need
form-building software? Well, if you want to collect information from readers,
leads or customers, it’s a lot easier to use pre-built software than learning
HTML forms from scratch.
What kind of forms can you build? By using a “Contact Us”
box, you don’t have to openly post your email address on the web. Or you could create an event registration form.
Look at these samples, which can be
used as templates, for some additional ideas.
Is citizen-reported journalism a fad or the answer to an expanded press? While I cringe at the whole idea as a former professional, I am fascinated by the power of such media. After all, Twitter shifted from novelty to tool almost overnight.
I know, I know, hyper-local news doesn’t seem all that exciting. Then again, America Online just paid $10 million to buy hyper-local news site, Patch, and another $10 mill for Going, writes Kara Swisher in BoomTown.
I don’t know about you, but that kind of money sounds EXCITING to me. Not that I ever planned on getting rich, but in today’s economy I’ve been paying a wee bit more attention to that bottom line thing.
A couple months ago, I actually tried contacting Patch about whether they were going to make their software available to folks hoping to start local sites. I was one of more than 230 people who submitted inquiries, according to a press release in Swisher’s post. And now I know why I never heard back from them; they were probably too busy cooking up the sale!
Patch seems to be using journalists with professional experience, but I’m completely unclear about the company’s pay structure. It’s a shame Patch never responded to my earlier inquiry.
I am a bit surprised by the $10 million price tag. After all, there is not that much local advertising on the site. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Patch’s principal investor was AOL’s new CEO, Tim Armstrong. And since he’s heavily restructuring the beleaguered company, perhaps he has a plan in mind.
Here’s what Armstrong says in the AOL press release:
“Local remains one of the most disaggregated experiences on the Web today – there’s a lot of information out there but simply no way for consumers to find it quickly and easily. It’s a space that’s prime for innovation and an area where AOL has a significant audience and a valuable mapping service in MapQuest. Going forward, local will be a core area of focus and investment for AOL.”
The upshot? Maybe we should keep our eyes peeled for job opportunities at AOL soon.
Today I discovered The Society for Professional Journalism’s database that helps media professionals find training. While the search engine, which is at journalismtraining.org searches fellowships, training events and web-based training, it is by no means comprehensive. It also is a bit confusing and many of the links don’t work well.
Still, it’s a nice tool if you live in a state with lots of colleges or journalism-related organizations trying to help out those wishing to refresh their careers.
While you can look through that database yourself, here are some upcoming courses I scraped together from other sources:
Do journalists really deserve low pay as suggested by media economics professor Robert G. Picard in his Christian Science Monitor article? Only if journalists find a new way to create value for readers, he writes.
The problem, Picard points out, is that technology makes it so easy to publish and so easy to find free, duplicated content that it’s difficult to assign any real value to journalistic endeavors: