Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors. Also, read the executive summary of the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Monday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from either: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; or 3) the Digiday piece about social media editors?
  • What surprised you most about the 2013 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank

Joe Grimm’s “Ask The Recruiter” column for Poynter Online

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

President Obama addressed the United Nations yesterday about a range of global topics including recent events in the Ukraine, the threat of an Ebola outbreak and, especially, the security challenges posed by the terrorist group known variously as ISIS, ISIL and/or the Islamic State.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to the president’s remarks by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the president’s comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with Obama doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

LIVE BLOG: 2 p.m. class
LIVE BLOG: 3:30 p.m. class

The Facebook Conundrum: The New Haven Independent and the Annie Le Murder

During class on Tuesday, Sept. 23, we will debate a multimedia case study: The Facebook Conundrum: The New Haven Independent and the Annie Le Murder. The case, which is free, is part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism. You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as audio interviews with the main characters and links to their bios.

The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing one of these two questions:

1. What are Bailey’s responsibilities to Del Rocco when reporting on her Facebook page?

2. What factors should Bass weigh to determine whether to run Del Rocco’s posts?

Your response must be posted by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, for full credit. In your response, cite specific facts from your own reading of the case. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the case yourself.

The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

Enjoy the case! (And bring your ‘A’ game on Tuesday.)

Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences

My forthcoming book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve.

I’m eager to hear your reactions to the book. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Blackboard under “assignments”). By 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? In your response, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself.

This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

For class on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

After reading Briggs Ch. 4, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the chapter change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.