Irish Times to Integrate Print and Web

Didn’t catch the Sunday Tribune’s article on the topic over the weekend, but Adam Maguire offers a good explanation here.

This is very interesting news for Irish journalism in general. It makes a lot of sense and is very progressive decision for the newspaper to make.

McClatchy reverses outsourcing decision

Interesting article in Editor & Publisher today on McClatchy Co’s decision not to outsource parts of the Miami Herald’s production to India.

It quotes a memo from the newspapers Executive Editor, Anders Gyllenhaal, who says that after some investigation it was clear that editing and layout were skills involving news judgement and experience and were not ‘likely to work well from afar’.

There is some good analysis of the decision and thoughts on when outsourcing works by Steve Yelvington here.

It is a particularly interesting move for the Irish newspaper industry to watch in light of Independent Newspaper’s decision to outsource subbing and other production work.Although these jobs were not moving to India (for the moment at least) but sub-contracted to Dublin company RE&D.

However be they 10 or 10,000 miles from the newsroom you can’t make the same kind of snap decisions if your sub-ed isn’t in the same room or building as you.

I wonder what the managers at the Irish Independent will make of McClatchy’s move.

Video newsblogging at the Young Scientist Exhibition

‘Could the owner of a white mouse please come and collect it at the information desk’

This public announcement was a reminder that I was quite a way from the office…

I’ve spent most of the week working with RTÉ.ie at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin.

We came up with the idea of creating newsblogs with students interviewing exhibitors about their projects. The whole idea was to demonstrate how quickly you can prepare and shoot a piece of pretty good-quality video and upload it to the web.

The students were coached on how to write a script and conduct interview on camera.
We then filmed the interview, which was generally between 1.30 and 3 mins long and returned to a work station to edit and put the short package up on RTÉ’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition website.

I think it was a very worthwhile experience and the feedback from the interviewers (both primary and secondary students) was very positive.

Check out the finished results here.

On the home stretch

I have returned to Chicago, leaving Washington DC behind and what was to me the most realistic glimpse you can have of a newsroom while still being a student.

I am approaching the finish line and will graduate next month. But between now and then I have a lot of work to do and most of it I am looking forward to.

News21, of which I am a part, is coming to a conclusion — and my story is certainly due.

I am working on a multimedia final project, which I am very excited about. I will finally get to try out some of the skills I learned in the classroom.

Plus I continue to find stories on the Irish-American community here in Chicago.

I am not long home from a lengthy day of earnings reports and slot-person duty and so I sign off.

Graduation is on the horizon

In three months time I will graduate. As the date nears some questions come to mind again. Will this master’s help me to get a job as a reporter? Should I choose to return to Ireland or move to Britain will my qualification mean anything to prospective employers? Finally, should I have taken on some internships or other trainee-type positions instead?

I faced the same questions last September when I finally took the plunge and decided graduate school was a good option. For me any journalism experience I had up to that point came from student newspapers and freelance writing. I felt that an intense 12 month program could sort out some of the gremlins in my writing and help me to become a better reporter. I think this is happening.

No matter what though, journalism masters or not, the task of getting a reporting job will be an uphill battle.

I met with a recruiter recently from a large news organization. They told me about a one-man bureau operated by a Florida-based newspaper. The reporter/bureau writes and edits their own stories and puts them up on the paper’s website. The reporter also takes their own photographs and can create graphics without assistance.

The recruiter was pleased when I said I could take my own photos. Hearing about this one-person operation in Florida urged me to sign up for a design course in news graphics over the summer.

The buzz word is “convergence” and more and more I see that as we go forward a larger knowledge base and skill set will be demanded. The one-person bureau is evidence of this.

These are the new expectations – the bar has been raised. But is it still in reach?