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Posts Tagged ‘Erik Wemple’

I was traveling and leading workshops this week for the anti-climactic final end of TBD. I didn’t have time to weigh in then, except on Twitter, after my former TBD colleague Jenny Rogers broke the news:

I don’t have a lot to add, but I’ve blogged a lot about TBD here, so I should note the denouement. TBD made our mark in part through effective aggregation of Washington local news, so I’ll note its passing with some aggregation on its brief history. It won’t be complete, but I invite you to add some more links in the comments. Where I aggregate content from TBD, I should note that I don’t know how long it will remain available. Archived content appears to be online, though the home page and some searches redirect to wjla.com.

Before we get to the actual demise, I have to share a link and screenshot from the coverage of our launch: I don’t believe any elaboration is needed here.

As for coverage of the actual death, it was pretty muted, perhaps appropriately for an operation whose life and death throes were perhaps overcovered. Here are the best accounts I saw of the final demise (normally that phrase would be redundant, but TBD’s demise was drawn-out enough that I consider it appropriate):

Erik Wemple’s No more TBD.com (Erik was TBD’s editor and now blogs about media for the Washington Post: (more…)

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Mandy Jenkins

I had mixed feelings when Mandy Jenkins blogged about why she was pleased with the new job I had just offered her. Because I had also offered her one of the “Twitter monkey” jobs she was glad to be moving beyond.

While Mandy and I worked together at TBD, I valued her contributions every day. I thought she had a great job and did a great job. So I was a little chagrined to read in her blog how she had spent the previous four years:

Watching and curating streams, responding to mentions, keeping an eye out for breaking news, promoting reporters’ work – it takes up so much time and mental energy that it’s difficult to do much else very effectively (and that includes being a spouse, friend, parent, pet owner, etc.).

Yeah, I guess that’s kind of what I expected from Mandy when she worked at TBD, though I think the part about being a spouse, etc. was unspoken (isn’t it always?), and I should add that Editor Erik Wemple sometimes added to my own expectations of Mandy at TBD.

And I should add that throughout my career, I could have written a similar description of many jobs I’ve held and supervised: sports writer, cop reporter, assistant city editor, political reporter, national editor. Journalism jobs can sap your time and mental energy and crowd out family, friends and pets at times. We get passionate about our work, and we and our bosses sometimes get excessive.

So I’m not writing this to excuse how demanding I was or to argue that Mandy gave the job more than I demanded (though she did). Instead, I want to continue my occasional blog posts with career advice by noting some lessons other journalists can find in how Mandy moved beyond Twitter-monkey status. (Mandy’s and my former TBD colleague Jeff Sonderman already provided some advice for how journalists can rise above digital typecasting such as Twitter monkey. (more…)

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A series of tweets last night reminded me of a lesson I should have included when I blogged last month about lessons from my TBD experience.

David Cohn tweeted a link to a Noah Davis story about AOL’s Seed being pretty much defunct. I retweeted with my own comment, without a great deal of thought or analysis.

(more…)

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Erik Wemple, editor of TBD, will excel in his next role, blogging media criticism for the Washington Post.

Erik told the staff of his move this afternoon. He wrote a lot of media criticism as editor of City Paper, and his video Fuego/Frio riffs have been a delight at both City Paper and TBD. We’re wondering whether the high-energy F/F can make the transition to the staid Washington Post. Even with his editing duties at TBD, Erik did some outstanding media criticism for as well. With the 2012 election campaign already rolling, Erik will focus initially on political media.

The energy, edge and drive that marked TBD, especially in its first six months, were a direct reflection of Erik’s leadership. He has been a joy to work with and leaves with my deep respect, admiration and affection.

I’ll repeat publicly what I told Erik this afternoon, before leading a round of applause from the staff: He did a hell of a job under difficult circumstances.

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I try to understand a subject before I write about it. So I won’t have much to say about the changes taking place at TBD.

Here’s what I will say:

  • Working at TBD has been a highlight of my career. I am proud of what we have achieved. Working with the staff and the colleagues here has been a delight and a privilege. (more…)

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In the days of my callow youth, I remember referring to journalists who ventured into public relations as having “sold out.”

Never mind that many in PR toiled for pay as low as many journalists. Never mind that PR ethics also insist on getting the facts right. We like our world simplified into us and them, and to a journalist, the PR world was always them: trying to keep us from the story, trying to manipulate us somehow. (more…)

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I have recently gained experience from both sides in job-hunting in digital journalism.

First I spent nine months looking for my next gig, landing at TBD as Director of Community Engagement. So I studied the issue from the hunter perspective. More recently I have filled five positions on my community-engagement team (hope to fill one more position before long). I have screened more than 100 applicants and interviewed more than a dozen. (more…)

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