Monday, April 6, 2009
1. Your career will probably depend on luck.
2. Few journalists write really well, so you have an advantage if you can, especially as editing resources shrink.
3. Despite the current hard times, students have an advantage over professionals because they have tech skills, and aren’t entrenched in the hierarchy.
4. Attitude counts more than ever.
5. You’ve got to get known, because editors tend to hire people they already know.
6. Be essential, not discretionary.
7. Advertisers have much more power than ever, and that’s an enormous problem.
8. An editor-in-chief spends less than half his time doing anything even remotely journalistic.
9. Analog dollars make digital pennies, but online may save the industry.
10. The skills of a journalist have value, even if it’s not in journalism.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
With so many magazines folding, with so many writers and editors sweating about losing their jobs or getting wage cuts, with so much uncertainty in our field, it's damn nice to hear some good news once in a while.
Yesterday, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the category finalists for their 2009 National Magazine Awards, and let's just say it was an overwhelmingly awesome day for Backpacker magazine. We received four nominations, including one each in the brass-ring categories of General Excellence for both print and online.
The oft-used analogy for these awards is that they are the Oscars of the magazine world. That would make "General Excellence" like "Best Picture." The other nominees in our category are The Atlantic, New York, Texas Monthy, and W. Pretty stiff competition. To paraphrase my elated boss, Backpacker, a niche publication with a funny name getting more nods than titles like Vanity Fair who can throw millions at a single story "is as unlikely as squeezing a grizzly into a Nalgene bottle." But we did. Not only that, but every facet of our brand was recognized with nominations: print, online, and maps. It was a good day (and the 18 year old scotch tasted mighty fine during our mid-afternoon toast yesterday).
Beyond patting ourselves on the back, though, the National Magazine Awards give us a great opportunity, as writers and editors, to celebrate what we're doing right in our ever-changing industry. Winners, who receive the coveted Ellie trophy (top left) will be announced on April 30th in New York City.
Shannon Davis, Backpacker magazine
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The keynote speaker is Ernest Hayes, director of human resources for the E. W. Scripps Company, who will cover the basics of the job search process. There are also panels for the different sequences (i.e. public relations, magazine, news writing and editing/online journalism, advertising management, and broadcast), for students to connect with professionals and alumni in their fields. In addition, a panel of recent grads will share insider tips for being a valuable – and happy – first-year employee.
Students wanting to attend should email Sharon Case at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and sequence by Jan. 28.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
For example, The Atlantic ran an intriguing article http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/new-york-times asking, What if the New York Times ceased print publication? What would that mean for journalism?
Author Michael Hirschorn takes an optimistic view, asserting that rather than killing “real” journalism, the death of print could actually help it. “Over the long run, a world in which journalism is no longer weighed down by the need to fold an omnibus news product into a larger lifestyle-tastic package might turn out to be one in which actual reportage could make the case for why it matters, and why it might even be worth paying for.”
Of course, that’s contingent on media companies finding a profitable online profitable business model (so they can employ qualified, skilled journalists), and that hasn’t happened yet. But it’s an interesting idea to ponder.
—Allison Stacy, Publisher/Editorial Director, Family Tree Magazine
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The Vail Daily decided to run the photos, which made Vail Resort pretty angry. The link below is a response from the paper's editor on why they decided to run the photo. What would you do? I'm curious to hear from SAF and students alike. ...I asked around our office, and most of us feel choosing to run it in the paper was in poor taste. Online? Sure. At least there you can warn people that they're about to see some bare, hairy buttocks.
(warning: in addition to insightful commentary, link contains an image of said buttocks)
~Shannon Davis, Backpacker Magazine
Monday, January 5, 2009
A little insight as to what Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends is up to this month...
SENIOR SATURDAY: Our annual event provides senior students with advice, tips, one-on-one consultations and other valuable information through panel discussions and workshops led by Scripps alumni. The day is focused on getting a job in the current job market and succeeding during the first year on the job and beyond. Last year's event was Feb. 16 and drew 109 graduating seniors, the most ever! The 2009 event will be held on January 31st, 2009 – we encourage current seniors to attend!
Seniors: To sign up, please contact Sharon Case <email@example.com> to register!