Main thing is to publish. Blog, tweet, write, photograph, tweet, video, code, play around with data - or a combination of all of the above. a) it will keep your journalistic ‘muscle’ in practice. b) if you’re any good, you’ll get noticed. And bear in mind you can do these things at other places than conventional news organisations. Many businesses, NGOs, arts organisations, public bodies, universities, etc are now publishers of extremely high quality stuff. Good places to practise your craft before moving on…
Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s Editor-in-Chief, in response to a Redditor’s question: What advice would you have for a journalism student attempting to get into the industry at the moment?
He did an IAmA on Reddit yesterday, mainly about the Guardian’s coverage of the NSA files. It’s an interesting conversation in which he links out to some good reads such as these tips on communicating securely with your sources.
I am apalled by some of the immature, horrifically racist, sexist, homophobic, ethnic… posts that are just ignored here. Why are these accounts still active?
While Reddit has done well in getting interest from the mainstream I just wonder if by allowing these children to run rampant and post whatever they feel will cause the most collateral damage if Reddit is biting off it’s own nose in taking that step to become a mainstream community.
William Shatner, Captain, Starship Enterprise, in a comment thread he started on Reddit. Via PandoDaily, William Shatner calls out Reddit for racism and hate mongering.
For the thread and some the 3,100+ comments in it, see here.
For a long long time, Slate was in a category of one, or maybe 2 (with salon), the online only magazine. What’s been wonderful in the past 7 years has been the emergence of so many healthy, clever, innovative online only sites that are not principally news sites, and the online success of traditional magazines like the atlantic. The health of the category has been good for all of us. There is more advertising, and more readers who now get to read across sites (Slate AND the Atlantic AND HuffPo AND Daily Beast AND Gawker…). More competition has been good for all of us, and forced us to innovate constantly.
Over the last couple years, reddit traffic and usage have continued to grow by leaps and bounds — in October 2012 alone we were up to over 3.8B pageviews and more than 46 million unique visitors. Our server costs also continue to grow, so we have a choice to make: we can start running a bunch more ads, or we can give you, the community, more reasons to support the site with your own money through reddit gold.
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, blog.reddit.com. Now is the Time… to Invest in Gold.
Avoiding overt commercialization because you’re afraid of alienating your online community is honorable, but it will eventually lead to a big question — where, then, do you make money?
Wong, as Mathew Ingram pointed out earlier today, has subtly reminded users about Reddit Gold, a paid membership that comes with perks. Wong also told readers that, no, they are not a very profitable site. They need help, and so they’re asking members to pay if they can.
Ingram thinks it may work, and that it could even work for news sites:
There’s no question that being a community already gives Reddit a better chance of success with this kind of thing, but it is a model that I think more media companies could implement as well, instead of just putting up a blanket paywall around all of their content. This is the idea behind what Wall Street Journal managing editor Raju Narisetti and author Jeff Jarvis have both called a “reverse paywall” — which provides benefits to loyal users and readers instead of charging them — and it seems like a much better fit if what you want to do is build a relationship with your community.
The key is to build and maintain a community where users are able to build reputations for themselves, either through loyal interaction with content, or continued contribution to the community. Think karma.
It may also be that the community needs a strong membership within its large population. Members with Reddit Gold, however, are no such group. But one user has the right idea — noting that some members occasionally see their own artwork posted without attribution, it was suggested that there be a “creddit” button which links to and gives points, perks, etc. to the members that created the shared work.
As Ingram points out, other robust communities have disappeared after the owner of the site tried to profit from them:
Those kinds of decisions, along with other design-related moves that Digg made, arguably poisoned the site’s relationship with its community to the point where many core users left — in many cases for Reddit — and the site’s long slide into irrelevance began.
How can Reddit and similar sites (and even news sites) make money, then? Well if it’s all hinged on their community, it doesn’t hurt to have a strong one that’s filled with, as Clay Shirky has put it, love — members who continue coming back to have conversations, share content and create.
Where should freedom of speech begin and end when you are a web-based entity with a global audience? That’s the question raised by a couple of recent events, including the furor over a Reddit moderator’s creepy behavior, and now the news that Twitter has blocked an account for the first time at the request of a state government — in this case Germany, which asked the service to take action against a Twitter user posting neo-Nazi sentiments, something that is forbidden by the laws of that country. As the web and social tools become more mainstream, these kinds of battles over the limits that should apply to free speech are only going to become more frequent, but the solution to them remains elusive at best…
…Twitter has said that it will make its own judgments in such cases, as Google does — but what recourse do we have if they decide to do something we disagree with? More than anything, these kinds of cases reinforce how much influence private entities like Twitter and Google now have over what information we receive (or are able to distribute), and the responsibility that this power imposes on them.
Matthew Ingram, GigaOm. Twitter, Reddit and the battle over freedom of speech.
Important programming note as you think on this one: In the United States, at least and as Matthew points out, “free-speech protection is something that is only legally or constitutionally required of governments, not corporations.”
A great story is like a great melody: it announces its inevitable greatness and you recognize it the first time you hear it. Most stories aren’t that. They do not announce their obvious greatness. 60% are in the limbo region where they might GET great or they might flop, and the only way to figure it out is to start making the story. So you launch in, hoping for that winning combination of great moments, charm, funny, and X factor.
As a result, we go through tons of stories on our way to the few that end up on the air. It’s like harnessing luck as an industrial product. You want to get hit by lightning, so you have to wander around for a long time in the rain.