Last week’s theme in reading was the death of journalism: How to Save the News and Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. (I thought I got those links from Steve, but now I can’t find the original post, so who knows. Thanks, wherever they came from.) I still like newspapers, and we subscribe to our local daily. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen with the industry as the print model continues to fail and they transform from newspapers into newssomethings. The transition is not a lot of fun for the people involved….
Today’s reading was about agent pay, which has been discussed a lot, including by Victoria Strauss, Jane Friedman, and Jodi Meadows (with bonus “how to help agents”). Jodi said pretty much what I think on the matter: if agents switched to billable hours, it wouldn’t help them in the long run, and would increase the opportunities for scammers. (She says a lot more than that; go read her post.)
Side note: I already have enough (too much) to read, but I’ve been enjoying finding things from http://longform.org/ and http://www.instapaper.com/ (which lists popular items that people have saved). It’s nice to read longer articles; jumping from blog post to blog post makes me feel scattered.
- France has put its UFO files online
What makes a writer a professional? – As in, do $4 keyword articles count, why do people write them, and shouldn’t companies want better quality articles and be willing to pay more?
Links to an interview with a guy (in the US) who writes the $4 articles.
The timing of this amused me. I recently signed up for a free account on the freelance bidding site Guru.com (I’m preparing to look for documentation assignments) and got a notification about a project to write 1000 articles for a grand total of $1000 to $2500. I don’t know if they got any bids; they certainly didn’t get mine.
- Missing Middle – An article in the Columbia Journalism Review wonders: Since all of the nationâ€™s news networks and most of its top newspapers and magazines are based on the East Coast, â€œthereâ€™s no nationally distributed heartland perspective,â€ [said a journalism professor in Northwest Ohio]. If a network were based in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, or St. Louis, she asks, â€œwhat would its coverage look like?â€
Regret the Error has run its 2006 Year in Media Errors and Corrections.
It's both funny and depressing. In lieu of a studious discussion of corrections, here is my favorite: the Typo of the Year, which went to Reuters.