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Posts Tagged ‘Religion Newswriters Association’

Guest-teaching at Northern Kentucky University, 2012

Guest-speaking at Northern Kentucky University, 2012

This continues a series on professional networking.

I don’t think I ever advertised my services as a journalism trainer. But my professional network brings business to me again and again.

I won’t try the same approach here as I used yesterday in explaining the value of my network in connecting me with new jobs, whether I was looking or not. I’ve had hundreds of training and consulting jobs since I decided to launch a side business of newsroom training in 1997, so I won’t detail the network role in all of them, as I did with full-time jobs. Instead, I’ll detail a few of the networking successes that have delivered multiple jobs.

Except for last year, when treatment for lymphoma took me off the road, I’ve made a five-figure second income most years since 2003 or so. I doubt if there was a single year when most of the gigs and most of the income didn’t come at least in part from network connections.

Though I really started in training as a continuing venture in 1997, my first gig was 12 years earlier at the St. Joseph News-Press and Gazette in Missouri. How that came about illustrated the importance of networking in such a pursuit: The St. Joe managing editor and Arnold Garson, my managing editor at the Des Moines Register, were at a meeting of the Associated Press Managing Editors together. The St. Joe editor mentioned to Arnie that he was interested in getting some newsroom training. Arnie thought I’d be good at that, so he dropped my name. I did well, and maintained the interest, though career opportunities took me in different directions for a while.

As my training career really took off in the early 2000s, networking provided opportunities time after time. Literally hundreds of opportunities came my way through my network. Here are how some of the major networking connections in my training career helped me: (more…)

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I recommend reading Tracy Simmons’ account of why she’s a religion reporter.

I’ve followed Tracy’s career since we met about a decade ago, when I was leading a writing workshop before a Religion Newswriters Association conference. She’s an excellent reporter and entrepreneur who developed the successful religion site Spokane FAVS, covering faith and values in Spokane, Wash. She also teaches journalism at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

This week’s post — about her life growing up in a cult and her estrangement from her mother, who remains in the cult — illustrates the power of personal journalism. I won’t try to summarize her post further here, but I hope you will read it and listen to her talk about her experience.

Too many journalists are too reluctant to tell the powerful personal stories in their own lives, or in their pursuit of the news. I also won’t elaborate on this topic further, but here are links where I’ve addressed personal journalism before:

Storytelling in journalism: No estoy muerta (I am not dead)

Jeff Edelstein tells a difficult first-person story

Tim McGuire tells a powerful personal story of disability and acceptance

Humanity is more important and honest than objectivity for journalists

The heart: one of journalism’s best tools

Journalism isn’t narcissism, but it’s not machinery either

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When the Nieman Lab tweeted yesterday that it had published my journalism predictions for 2011, I couldn’t recall what all I had predicted. I had sent my forecast a couple weeks earlier, in response to a request from Lois Beckett. I remembered predicting a few things off the top of my head, but didn’t immediately recall what I had forecast.

One of the predictions made a stronger impression with some of my tweeps:

We will see some major realignment of journalism and news-industry organizations. Most likely: the merger of ASNE and APME, mergers of some state press associations, mergers of at least two national press organizations, mergers of some reporter-beat associations. One or more journalism organizations will close. (more…)

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