Things to read

What comes next for journalism in the social media? David Cohn has assembled a list of sites you need. He ends with a caution:

If you ignore these sites, you will fail to understand how a growing portion of the population deals with the flow of information, and inevitably how more people will deal with this flow in the future. The best journalists will be problem solvers on the social web.

If you are a journalist your JOB is to understand and insert yourself into the flow of information. That’s what Google+ represents, the flow of information.

Meanwhile as to the branding of a journalist, here’s one successful case study, by Jennifer Gaie Hellum:

It takes extra effort to maintain an online presence as a journalist. And I admitted I couldn’t tell him which tweet would be the one that got him retweeted 25 times, which blog post would be shared around the world or which skill listed on his LinkedIn profile would make him rise to the top of a search.

Nonetheless, I assured him all that extra effort was worth it because each tweet, each blog post and each online profile defined his brand and provided a virtual trail for potential employers to find him. I told him I knew this personally because I’d sent tweets that got dozens of retweets, written a blog post that someone translated into Spanish and shared from Peru to Spain and been contacted for jobs via LinkedIn, all while I was still a grad student. And I said there was no reason he and his classmates couldn’t do the same.

Today’s j-school students have everything they need to start mapping out their careers. They can write niche blogs, create simple portfolios, connect with others doing the work they aspire to do and develop professional networks across the country before they’ve even begun their job searches.

The task is clear, then.

Statistics for journalists. Great primer, there. Ten rules for visual storytelling, from Professor Mindy McAdams at Florida. It starts with this:

“I want to know more. I always want to know who, when, and where. Always! For me this is part of authentication, which is part of what makes it journalism and not interpretive art. A photo without a caption is not journalism.”

A photo without a caption is far short of adequate reporting.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks, of course. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal, headquartered across the street from the World Trade Center, published their Pulitzer Prize-winning Sept. 12, 2001 edition.

Here’s an image of their rare six-column headline. They hadn’t ran that style since Pearl Harbor was attacked. The headlines — how do you cover a story that everyone knows about? — are instructive.

Meanwhile, our shared experience is becoming history. Here a teacher tells of his students with no memory of Sept. 11th. Too young. That changes things, doesn’t it? If you’re in college today you were probably 8- to 12-years-old. How does your generation perceive Sept. 11th? How has that perception changed in the last decade?

You’re welcome for free the story idea.

Quick hits: TV in the cloud, which gets to the heart of something mentioned here previously. This, too, will become a stratified industry as executives retrenches online. Here’s a bit more on the shifts in television distribution.

Finally, Professor Dan Gillmor said two interesting things on Twitter yesterday:

Journalists stopped being gatekeepers when they became stenographers, a long time ago.

The gatekeeper of the future is you. You will designate the people (and orgs) you trust to tell you what is going on.

That second statement is of great interest, both for you as a journalist and as a consumer. Which noun form do you suspect “you” takes there?

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