It’s a good time to be in journalism - Patrick Smith


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It’s a good time to be in journalism - Patrick Smith

  1. 1. It’s a good time to be in journalism<br />Patrick Smith, Leeds Trinity and All Saints, March 4 2011<br />@psmith<br />
  2. 2. @psmith<br />#LTJW<br />
  3. 3. My six points<br />Don’t limit yourself<br /> This is a conversation<br /> Don’t be scared of money<br />You should try this at home<br />Banning the blog<br />Read more than you write<br />
  4. 4. But….<br />
  5. 5. About me<br />Editor and chief analyst of – a new site for the media industry<br />Entirely digital and online – no print legacy<br />Work extensively with social media, building audience and communities<br />I write analysis on the global media industry<br />Curate and sort news – not just write it<br />
  6. 6. Quick CV<br />Graduated from TASC newspapers course in late 2006<br />Lots, and lots, of work experience<br />Some amateur blogging<br />Leeds University history grad before that<br />Very involved in student newspaper<br />I wanted to work “in newspapers”<br />But it didn’t work out like that…<br />
  7. 7. Press Gazette<br /><ul><li>Joined in 2006 (thanks to Piers Morgan)
  8. 8. National trade title for journalism industry
  9. 9. Print and online trade (B2B) publication
  10. 10. Covered newspapers, magazines, broadcast
  11. 11. Financial coverage and analysis
  12. 12. Interviews, features, profiles
  13. 13. Led campaigns:
  14. 14. FOI act
  15. 15. Extortionate libel fees (CFAs)
  16. 16. Shiv Malik, Sally Murreretc…
  17. 17. Work experience abuse</li></li></ul><li>When I said I’d do “anything” to get a job I didn’t have this in mind…<br />
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  22. 22. 2008 - First started blogging professionally. I haven’t stopped yet.<br />
  23. 23. Joined as UK correspondent 2008, 2nd full-time UK reporter<br />Working entirely online<br />Writing news and analysis on UK/EU digital media econom<br />Reporting news live as it happens throughout the day<br />Big focus on financial reporting: company results, M&A<br />Told to think creatively about presentation (graphics, slides, mashups, audio, video<br />
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  26. 26. Freelance - 2010<br />Feature writer and news shifts for<br />As well as my own site:<br />
  27. 27. Truly frightening artwork<br />
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  30. 30. And now:<br />
  31. 31. Some assumptions<br /><ul><li>You can write clearly, simply and to a deadline
  32. 32. You have news sense: what is and isn’t a story to your audience
  33. 33. You are building sources and looking after them
  34. 34. You are good with people (not a complete a-hole)
  35. 35. You’re prepared to upset people and be unpopular
  36. 36. You don’t make assumptions</li></li></ul><li>1. Don’t limit yourself<br />Look for opportunities in unusual places<br />Jobs on newspapers and in broadcasting are scarce<br />Don’t think “I’m a magazine journalist”, “I’m a newspaper journalist”<br />What can you do?<br />Digital skills are not optional<br />You might not work for the New York Times (eg:<br />
  37. 37. Decline of print<br />Source:, August 2010 (<br />
  38. 38. …Don’t forget B2B<br />Trade publishing is big business<br />Largely transitioned to digital media<br />There are jobs (compared to newspapers)<br />It’s great training and good experience<br />You learn the financial side of reporting<br />Learn to write for a specific community<br />
  39. 39. 2. This is a conversation<br />
  40. 40. gets 10% of traffic from Facebook<br />Increasingly, readers won’t come to your site to read what you write, but go to third party social sites like FB<br />You want your readers to share you content online<br />Twitter is a distribution platform for what you produce…<br />… and a communication channel<br />... and a reporting tool<br />… and a networking tool (as in, professional networking)<br />
  41. 41. Paul Lewis, investigative journalist, The Guardian:<br />"I wasn't convinced about Twitter at first, but it quickly turned out to be quite useful for investigating… Twitter is not just a website and not micro-blogging, it is an entirely different medium - like email, fax or even newspapers. The way in which information travels on Twitter - the shape of it - is different to anything that we've previously known.“<br /><br />
  42. 42. 3. Don’t be scared of money <br />Know your way around a balance sheet<br />Profit and loss, profit and revenue<br />
  43. 43. 4. Do try this at home<br />The way to learn digital media skills is to do<br />No book will tell you everything on<br />Blogging<br />Tweeting<br />Video/audio<br />html/javascript<br />Data journalism skills<br />Visualisations and mashups<br />
  44. 44. David McCandless –<br />
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  46. 46. 5. Ban the blog<br />Blogging is great but it’s a bad word<br />There is online publishing, there is offline publishing<br />The blog is the platform: you can publish anything you like on a blog<br />
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  49. 49. 6. Read more than you write<br />Read, read, and read<br />Magazines, newspapers, watch TV news<br />RSS reader<br />Build a network of Twitter friends<br />Use Delicious for bookmarking<br />Be an expert in your field – stay ahead of the game<br />Learn to track news + trends in real time<br />
  50. 50. Last thing…<br />This is a brilliant time to be a journalist<br />More possibilities than ever if you grasp them<br />We need you to write the future<br />…So please do!<br />
  51. 51. Links<br />My Twitter advice:<br />The Guardian’s data editor’s simple guide to using data:<br />Really good thoughts from Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog:<br />
  52. 52. Questions?<br />
  53. 53. Thanks<br /><br />@psmith<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />