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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Update: Joe Grimm is leading a workshop on building your personal brand.

Update: I have blogged about my own personal branding strategy.

Update: I used Storify to curate discussion of this issue on various blogs and Twitter.

Update: Weingarten has responded twice. Please see the first comment and his later comment.

Gene Weingarten has developed an outstanding personal brand as a journalist. But that brand will not let him write, except scornfully, about branding and journalism. So I will answer the question a journalism student (identified only as “Leslie”) asked him: How he built his “personal brand” over the years. Update: Leslie Trew Magraw, the student in question, gave me permission to post her research paper on Weingarten’s brand. And Owen Youngman, her professor, blogged about this branding discussion as well.

The question was a belt-high fastball for Weingarten, whose brand is equal parts wit, sarcasm, insight and the ability to write tearjerking (from laughter or other emotions) sentences that you wish you could have written. He swung at the pitch and wrote a funny column, How ‘branding’ is ruining journalism.

Weingarten’s response:

The best way to build a brand is to take a three-foot length of malleable iron and get one end red-hot. Then, apply it vigorously to the buttocks of the instructor who gave you this question. You want a nice, meaty sizzle.

Lots of journalists might have been smart enough (and scornful enough of branding) to think of the basic response of turning the branding question around into a branding iron that would inflict pain. But that “nice, meaty sizzle” kicker is a classic Weingarten line that I wish I would have written, even though I disagree with Gene on this. (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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In another context, I might have protested being labeled part of the “mainstream media.”

We launched our website in August. We’re trying to be innovative and edgy in our mobile apps, use of social media, breaking-news coverage, blog network and other respects. If I were at an American Society of News Editors convention, I would be one of the digital upstarts. But at News Foo Camp, the label actually fit. Sort of. (more…)

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Howard Owens is one of the smartest journalism entrepreneurs in the business. He launched The Batavian as a digital challenger to the Batavia Daily News in New York, and his small business is thriving.

I was interested yesterday to see that Howard had blogged with some advice for local websites competing with Patch. I had written about the challenge presented by Patch a few weeks ago, and was interested to see what Howard had to say. Not surprisingly, his advice on competition was more detailed and better than mine. But I had also noted the potential for turning Patch into a collaborator or a customer. So after tweeting a link to Howard’s post, I tweeted a link to my own. (more…)

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I have to weigh in on yesterday’s ethics outrage at the Washington Post.

No, I’m not talking about Dave Weigel. I don’t have much to say about his “resignation” from the Post.

The real ethical outrage was that this respected news organization allowed itself to be used by gutless, unprincipled military officials to smear the name of Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings. (more…)

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The weakness of the arguments for government subsidies for journalism can be seen in their inconsistency.

The advertising model that has supported journalism for more than a century has broken down, authors Robert McChesney and John Nichols argue in great detail in their book The Death and Life of American Journalism. They argue strongly for heavy government subsidies for journalism. And how would they finance the subsidies? One of the taxes they propose — and I’m pretty sure they were serious — is a tax on advertising.

After telling us emphatically that advertising is on its deathbed and can’t possibly support the journalism that our democracy needs to survive, they turn around without a hint of irony and insist that a tax on advertising is somehow going to help give new life to journalism. (more…)

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Update: Maya Esther is in the United States. Read the update.

A journalist gets an unusual perspective on disaster stories.

Chances are you remember the Oklahoma City bombing from the horrific television images of the demolished building or the heart-rending photograph of a firefighter carrying a dead baby from the building. I remember the bombing from the grit in the air I could feel and taste covering the aftermath in downtown Oklahoma City.

You may have forgotten about the catastrophic mudslides that hit Venezuela in 1999. I will never forget walking with a woman on a devastated mountainside as she pointed at homes where she and relatives once lived. “Es mi casa,” she said, gesturing to some rubble, part of it recognizable as the top of a wall, the rest of her home swept away or buried in mud hardened like concrete. Another woman recalled that horrible night, gesturing downward with her arm, talking about the terror that came rushing down the mountainside, repeating, “cadave” — corpses sliding down in a torrent of mud.

My role as editor of The Gazette during the 2008 flood has received plenty of attention, so I won’t belabor it here. And I recently recalled my role covering the 9/11 attack from a distance. In a career that started in the 1970s, I have covered dozens of tornadoes, floods and other disasters as a reporter and editor. The stories are emotional. You can’t help but feel the human impact, sharing joy and heartbreak with people you interview. But you develop a sort of professional shell that helps you function and keeps you from feeling too deeply.

This week I learned a bit of what it’s like to be one of those people I used to cover, waiting anxiously to learn whether a loved one had survived, trying to bring her to safety. (more…)

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Sigh. The drumbeat for unwise government subsidies for journalism continues with a How to Save Journalism essay in The Nation. It was written by Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, authors of The Death and Life of American Journalism, just published.

I hardly know where to start in addressing the faulty reasoning of the essay. It was not persuasive enough that I will buy the book. But government subsidies for journalism, for some reason, are a hot topic, so I weigh in once more. (more…)

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Reviewing 2009 on my blog (mostly for my own information, but I share it because that’s what bloggers do):

My most popular post by far (more than twice as many views as anything else) was my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, posted April 27. I proposed a detailed new business model for community news organizations. It received more links from other blogs and more tweets than anything else I’ve written this year. And interest in C3 remains strong. (After traffic on that post declined from June through September, it increased in October and November. December didn’t quite match November, but exceeded August, September and October). C3 gets more attention in a slow month than my average post gets total.

Everyone wants a blog post to go viral, but I’m glad I didn’t write something quirky that went off the charts. C3 was one of the most important things I’ve written this year (or in my career), so I’m pleased that it received more attention than any other post. I’ve been invited to make presentations dealing with C3 in Florida, Nevada, California, Texas, Siberia and Canada. I hope in 2010 to be writing about how Gazette Communications and other organizations are carrying out the vision of C3.

(more…)

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