photo of DC Newspaper boxes by Elvert Barnes from flickr

I haven’t posted in about a month while I tried to get settled into the new job. I’m proud to announce that I found a place this week. I move in tomorrow, so after getting resettled into a new place and getting the some Internet I should be back in the swing of regular blogging.

I’m not sure I ever explained what I’m doing here – and I don’t plan on going to in-depth right now either, but I’m essentially the web editor for the mag. I do a round-up security related news items from the day/night before in the morning and then a “blog” post during the day about a news item, report, hearing, etc. Mix all that together with a week of page proofing and posting the magazine online and a few other things and that’s how I’m spending my days. Lots of other stuff too though.

The position is kind of a newspaper/magazine hybrid, but it’s given me the opportunity to write a lot more than I did at the newspaper. Definitely still racing against a couple daily deadlines (morning and afternoon) like at a newspaper, but the pressures of filling a paper everyday, and responding to breaking news aren’t there – and I don’t know how much I miss it. I feel like I actually have a chance to process the information that I’m gathering throughout the day – which is also great because 90% of the things I’m writing about I’m learning about for the first time, so I end up reading as much background about the topics as I do writing about them. Read More



That let’s me know O’Keefe doesn’t do (at least) three things: He doesn’t have anyone look over his stuff critically before he publishes – and no, Andrew Breitbart doesn’t count. He has a huge ego but no real concept of journalism or what it takes to get an Emmy. And he doesn’t read Mother Jones.

If he did, he’d realize his faux-invesigations fall apart like a bad episode of Pinky and the Brain (Breitbart and O’Keefe cameo at :44). Mother Jones does a pretty good job at documenting fail after fail on this chart they call “Pimps, Lies and Videotapes,” but I call “Sit Down, O’Keefe.”

What’s even funnier about O’Keefe’s comparison of himself to Chris Hansen is that O’Keefe was the one posing as a sexual predator for a “sting” last year.

Read more from MOJO: Why Do We Keep Falling for O’keefes Smear Jobs?

The full convo here: Read More

via Kiss My Black Ads

This post is to the recent j-grad and other unemployed journalists – the one who learned to FOIA like a pit bull at their student paper – the one who worked unpaid overtime for five years at a small daily just to be laid off – the one who was promised a job after an internship just to be told the position didn’t exist a year later – the one who dug up great stories just to have them killed by editors more interested in schmoozing with exces than public service:

Get out now or put everything you have into it and just expect things to be crappy for a long time.

In this climate, I don’t think anyone would blame you for throwing in the towel for something more sustainable. I didn’t really have a concrete plan when I left the Morning News – I just knew I needed a break from journalism. I had an application to grad school in the works, and a friend was making space for me in her parent’s basement in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In the meantime, I lived in ZenLizzie‘s spare room and the loft in my dad’s apartment and my car.

I love journalism. I love holding the big guys accountable. I love reporting, investigating, learning, flying in helicopters – but being unemployed gave me a chance to interview at a few different places and I see that the even in the two years since I’ve graduated, the business is going through some drastic and scary changes.

Media companies are pretending that good journalism is decided by site clicks and gimmicks rather than reporting with the purpose of educating the public. The line between PR and journalism is being blurred with things like brand journalism and the inability of media organizations to say no to press releases. Newspapers are getting smaller, no seriously waaaay smaller.

Depressing. But if anything, those things show how desperate the need for good journalists is right now. So if you’re like me and deicide to tough it out: blog, tweet, talk – do everything you can to stay involved. And listen to Ira: Push. Out. Work.

Remember the reason you got into this business in the first place…and say that in your interviews.

*Read my submission to Upstart Magazine here for more on this topic, and follow them on twitter @UpstartMagazine.

Last week was pretty busy in terms of Illinois FOIA legislation. The Southern reported that Illinois lawmakers voted to prohibit the release of the names of people with firearm owner identification cards. Their concern was that gun owners would be targeted by criminals – criminals who wanted to get shot, I guess.

Right before that, the Illinois General Assembly passed and sent to the governor a bill adding a fairly interesting FOIA exemption to an already detailed list of exemptions. Read More

I’m swamped today, but until I get a real post written about last night here’s a recap of what twitter looked like before, during and after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a compound in Pakistan.

10. Speculation

Before the announcement came, the pre-annoucement of an important message to be broadcast at 10:30 p.m. eastern time, was all over TV. CNN reported that the topic was national security, and when 10:45 came and went, it lit a twitter powder keg, exploding and unleashing the conspiracy theorist in all of us. What could be so important to hold the presser at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night?! Terrorists?! Aliens?! See hashtag #obamaguesses. 

This anticipation made some anxious...others, hopeful.

Read More

Well, that looks promising.

Journalism tops The Daily Beast’s gallery of the 20 most useless degrees and journalists on twitter are abuzz about the harsh designation. But come on guys, one day we’re going to have to be honest with ourselves and admit that the chances of landing a journalism job right out of school are only slightly better than being drafted into the NFL. Read More

I think most people know I’m not at the Morning News anymore. Currently, I’m living on a mattress on the floor of a room in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

During my mid-morning break from playing Call of Duty to look for jobs, I came across this. It’s a job listing from The Post and Courier in Charleston – a job listing that makes a pretty mighty claim:

The Post and Courier, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, is seeking an experienced reporter to cover the Boeing Co. and technology…

Wait…didn’t I just read on The State’s website that they were South Carolina’s largest newspaper? Not that who is bigger really matters to me, but my brain just likes to investigate. So I did. Read More