SPJ Convention: Author Mark Briggs Is Optimistic About Journalism’s Future

Author Mark Briggs spoke about the direction of the future of journalism at the 2010 SPJ Convention. Despite recent negative connotations with the profession, Briggs said he is optimistic about where it’s headed.

“There is job growth in journalism,” said Briggs, who runs an online media consulting firm in Seattle and is author of the book, JournalismNext.

He told attendees how he chooses to look at journalism as a “bright flower.” Rather than focusing on the layoffs found in print media, Briggs told students and professionals to look towards growth in other platforms and outlets.

He gave various examples of start-ups that took less traditional routes, including sites such as Patch.com and Bargain Babe LA. Both sites use hyper local and niche journalism.

Briggs also discussed how journalism will eventually be in the hands of media entrepreneurs. Citing various business models, Briggs organized the trending change of journalism into four main categories: entrepreneurial, data-driven, platform-agnostic, and social.

While Briggs was optimistic about where the field is headed, he stressed that there will be some failures and journalists have to be ready to take that risk.

Visit Briggs’ site, Journalism 2.0 for more conversations about journalism.

— Lauren Camplin

Michael Koretzky’s Creative Tips for Journalism Jobs

The number of traditional newsroom jobs may be dwindling, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t dozens of new career paths in journalism sprouting up each year.

At the Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in October, Michael Koretzky spoke to journalism students and professionals about interesting outlets in which to pursue jobs.

Koretzky is a social media adviser at Florida Atlantic University and a member of the SPJ board of directors. His experience with the types of obscure journalism careers began when he founded South Florida Media Jobs, a website created to help journalism professionals in adapting to the evolving technology.

The presentation highlighted the growing similarities between journalistic and public relations writing and reporting styles. For instance, want to report on your favorite sports team?

Try looking for jobs within the team’s public relations or publicity department. He also covered the different types of freelance jobs young journalists should be looking for, contractual and one-time assignments. One-time freelance opportunities consist of just one assignment with a company, while contractual assignments have a longer time span.

For instance, a newspaper or other publication might temporarily hire journalists to cover an election or another type of ongoing news event. However, in both instances the company or publication will be sure to inform the freelancer that these are not lasting positions.

Koretzky’s presentation not only introduced me to new ideas about where to look for jobs and internships, but it helped me to feel confident about finding a career I love during a time of major change in journalism.

For More Information, Visit Koretzky’s South Florida Media Jobs Site.

— Katie Karpowicz

SPJ National Convention: News Gear

Note: This is part of a series of updates from various seminars at the SPJ National Convention, which the SPJ DePaul executive board attended in early October.

Western Kentucky professor Kerry Northrup focused on some of the latest technologies and how journalists are using them at his “New Gear” presentation at the SPJ National Convention.

Northrup focused on the iPad and its strengths and limitations. He talked about its mobility and helpful applications, but mentioned the lack of a built-in camera and need for adapters (Apple Connection Kit for around $40) to import video and photos as weaknesses.

For the past 12 years, Northrup has developed a NewsGear kit that recommends several of the best technologies for backpack reporting. I agree with some (the iPad and the Sony NEX-VG10 HD video camera), I disagree with others (Nokia N8 smart phone over the iPhone 4).

Visit his site NewsGear.info and decide for yourself. — Mike Reilley

SPJ National Convention: What We Learned

Over the next few weeks, we’ll post short stories and summaries from seminars at the SPJ National Convention Oct. 3-5 in Las Vegas. Some members of our executive board attended the conference and brought back new ideas for our chapter.

In the meantime, here are some summaries and links from some of the seminars:

Journalist’s Toolbox: The lead item on the front page has links to tools speakers introduced in several seminars.

Smashing Silos: CNN’s Victor Hernandez and his team’s seminar explored how to get a large news organization to think out-of-the-box and build cross-platform storytelling. This presentation used the cool Prezi.com online presentation tool.

Building the Future or Recreating the Past? Mark Briggs, author of the book JournalismNext, told convention attendees that innovation and optimism can keep journalism going strong.

Will SPJ Remain Relevant in the Digital Age? This report from SPJ’s Digital Media Committee explores how the organization is reaching out to its audience through online resources such as SPJ.org and its Twitter account.

Google 101 for Journalists: All kinds of cool tips and tricks, including how to use Google as a calculator.

Social Media for TV: CNN editors explain how TV reporters and producers can use Twitter on deadline in this summary from Deb Wenger at Advancing the Story.

60 Sites in 60 Minutes: A summary of links/sites from Ron Sylvester’s and Jeff Cutler’s presentation.

LiveBlogging and Webcasting: Links and resources from Mark S. Luckie’s presentation.

SPJ Convention Summary: A roundup of convention events on Multimedia Reporter blog.

The Working Press: Coverage of the Convention on the student-run newspaper/website.

— Mike Reilley