Evelyn Tipacti's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti Media 411: Copy Editors: Human vs. Automated? Having a job in journalism these days is not easy as more and more is required for those who report the news and make sure it reaches the masses.

If you’re a writer, a copy editor is someone you rely on -- that extra set of eyes which inspect and analyze your copy and make it better. It’s the one person who understands what you’re trying to say and helps you say it better than you thought possible.

What if you no longer had that cushion and instead had to rely on an automated copy editor? What if the role of a copy editor became just a memory and software was the only thing available? I shudder to think!

However, with fewer journalists in most newsrooms these days, they really do a lot more than ‘just’ write the news. Now they have to also play the role of copy editor and perhaps rely on popular software to get the job done.

Copy editors are vital. Software cannot replace a human, but call me old school. I’m a fan of copy editors. Copy editors are at risk with each newsroom cut and that means a possible loss of quality of product. Software cannot grasp the sentimentality of what a reporter needs or wants to say and it cannot detect accuracy. Only a human can tell if what a reporter has written should even be part of a story.

I can understand if one uses software as additional backup, not as a replacement. Software may be a good idea for a freelancer but for a huge media company, I will always believe that a real person is always the best choice.

For more on this topic and the inspiration for today’s Media 411, please click here for the article from the American Journalism Review.

What do you think?

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:00:11 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/04/17/media_411:_copy_editors:_human_vs._automated http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/04/17/media_411:_copy_editors:_human_vs._automated Having a job in journalism these days is not easy as more and more is required for those who report the news and make sure it reaches the masses.

If you’re a writer, a copy editor is someone you rely on -- that extra set of eyes which inspect and analyze your copy and make it better. It’s the one person who understands what you’re trying to say and helps you say it better than you thought possible.

What if you no longer had that cushion and instead had to rely on an automated copy editor? What if the role of a copy editor became just a memory and software was the only thing available? I shudder to think!

However, with fewer journalists in most newsrooms these days, they really do a lot more than ‘just’ write the news. Now they have to also play the role of copy editor and perhaps rely on popular software to get the job done.

Copy editors are vital. Software cannot replace a human, but call me old school. I’m a fan of copy editors. Copy editors are at risk with each newsroom cut and that means a possible loss of quality of product. Software cannot grasp the sentimentality of what a reporter needs or wants to say and it cannot detect accuracy. Only a human can tell if what a reporter has written should even be part of a story.

I can understand if one uses software as additional backup, not as a replacement. Software may be a good idea for a freelancer but for a huge media company, I will always believe that a real person is always the best choice.

For more on this topic and the inspiration for today’s Media 411, please click here for the article from the American Journalism Review.

What do you think?

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

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Upcoming PR/Media Events We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. Here are a few events coming up over the next few weeks. Know of an event coming up? Email us the details and we’ll include in our next post.

Event: A Conversation With Chicago’s Leading Health Care Journalists
Host: Publicity Club of Chicago
Date: April 9
Location: Chicago
Summary: Chicago's leading health care reporters talk about what makes a great story, how you can stand out from the pack, and what you can do to make sure your next pitch is successful.
Complete event info here

Event: Investigating Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers
Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Date: April 9
Location: Online
Summary: Learn whether stockbrokers or investment advisers have run afoul of regulators or been the subject of customer complaints. This one-hour webinar will guide you through the FINRA BrokerCheck database and the SEC’s Investment Adviser registration database. You’ll also learn how state securities regulators police the industry and how to obtain results of their investigations for your stories.
Complete event info here

Event: Powering B2B Marketing Campaigns Through Multimedia
Host: PR Newswire
Date: April 9
Location: Online
Summary: The B2B buying process has changed. In today’s content-heavy market, you can no longer rely only on brochures to close sales. B2B technology buyers need at least four pieces of content before they make a shortlist of vendors, including white papers, videos, blog posts and much more. This webinar will show you how to think beyond the brochure and use multimedia content to engage leads and convert them into customers.
Complete event info here

Event: Disruptive Innovation and Strategic Counsel: Keeping Your Institution (And You) Relevant
Host: PRSA
Date: April 9-11
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: Higher education communicators have a full course load, from dealing with the rise in massive open online courses (MOOCs) to preparing a campus-wide crisis communications program. The PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit offers creative approaches to keep your communication strategies and tactics cutting edge.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Monthly Luncheon
Host: PRSA Dallas
Date: April 10
Location: Dallas
Summary: Zak Andersen, vice president, corporate relations president, BNSF Foundation, will be the guest speaker.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Strategic Corporate Communications Leadership Summit
Host: IABC
Date: April 10-11
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: If you are responsible for corporate communication, public relations, human resources, social media, marketing or organizational effectiveness, join us as we reveal the latest corporate communication strategies, techniques and measurement tools.
Complete event info here. 

Event: The Scrappy Factor: How PR Pros Can Achieve More With Less
Host: PRSA Cincinnati
Date: April 11
Location: Cincinnati
Summary: Virtuoso violinist and keynote speaker Roddy Chong will discuss a phenomenon known as “the scrappy factor,” which is necessary to achieve goals on any stage. Find out how scrappy people, teams and companies can accomplish more and be more effective.
Complete event info here

Event: Creating a Strong Brand Identity Through Persuasive Messaging
Host: NJ CAMA
Date: April 17
Location: Princeton, N.J.
Summary: Whether your business is large or small, a strong brand identity is the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace. Guest speakers will lead an enlightening discussion on creating and maintaining your brand, developing a powerful voice, and how technology can support those efforts.  The event is co-sponsored by the NJ Creative Professionals.
Complete event info here

Event: Investigating Government Contractors
Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Date: April 22
Location: Online
Summary: Ron Nixon, domestic correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, will share how to track local and national government spending on contractors in public databases.
Complete event info here

Event: Supercharge Your Content: Writing and Editing Essentials
Host: Ragan Communications
Date: April 22
Location: Online
Summary: Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, the famed writing and editing pro featured on Oprah, and Word Czar Rob Reinalda, Ragan Communications executive editor and master wordsmith, will discuss grammar basics, gaffes and memorization techniques.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling
Host: PR Newswire
Date: April 22
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: This forum will highlight how leading organizations and thought leaders are leveraging visual assets and a variety of multimedia services to garner higher visibility, spark interaction, generate leads and build loyalty. PR Newswire members may use promo code PRN10 to receive a discounted rate of $20.
Complete event info here. 

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:07:56 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/04/04/upcoming_prmedia_events http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/04/04/upcoming_prmedia_events We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. Here are a few events coming up over the next few weeks. Know of an event coming up? Email us the details and we’ll include in our next post.

Event: A Conversation With Chicago’s Leading Health Care Journalists
Host: Publicity Club of Chicago
Date: April 9
Location: Chicago
Summary: Chicago's leading health care reporters talk about what makes a great story, how you can stand out from the pack, and what you can do to make sure your next pitch is successful.
Complete event info here

Event: Investigating Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers
Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Date: April 9
Location: Online
Summary: Learn whether stockbrokers or investment advisers have run afoul of regulators or been the subject of customer complaints. This one-hour webinar will guide you through the FINRA BrokerCheck database and the SEC’s Investment Adviser registration database. You’ll also learn how state securities regulators police the industry and how to obtain results of their investigations for your stories.
Complete event info here

Event: Powering B2B Marketing Campaigns Through Multimedia
Host: PR Newswire
Date: April 9
Location: Online
Summary: The B2B buying process has changed. In today’s content-heavy market, you can no longer rely only on brochures to close sales. B2B technology buyers need at least four pieces of content before they make a shortlist of vendors, including white papers, videos, blog posts and much more. This webinar will show you how to think beyond the brochure and use multimedia content to engage leads and convert them into customers.
Complete event info here

Event: Disruptive Innovation and Strategic Counsel: Keeping Your Institution (And You) Relevant
Host: PRSA
Date: April 9-11
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: Higher education communicators have a full course load, from dealing with the rise in massive open online courses (MOOCs) to preparing a campus-wide crisis communications program. The PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit offers creative approaches to keep your communication strategies and tactics cutting edge.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Monthly Luncheon
Host: PRSA Dallas
Date: April 10
Location: Dallas
Summary: Zak Andersen, vice president, corporate relations president, BNSF Foundation, will be the guest speaker.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Strategic Corporate Communications Leadership Summit
Host: IABC
Date: April 10-11
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: If you are responsible for corporate communication, public relations, human resources, social media, marketing or organizational effectiveness, join us as we reveal the latest corporate communication strategies, techniques and measurement tools.
Complete event info here. 

Event: The Scrappy Factor: How PR Pros Can Achieve More With Less
Host: PRSA Cincinnati
Date: April 11
Location: Cincinnati
Summary: Virtuoso violinist and keynote speaker Roddy Chong will discuss a phenomenon known as “the scrappy factor,” which is necessary to achieve goals on any stage. Find out how scrappy people, teams and companies can accomplish more and be more effective.
Complete event info here

Event: Creating a Strong Brand Identity Through Persuasive Messaging
Host: NJ CAMA
Date: April 17
Location: Princeton, N.J.
Summary: Whether your business is large or small, a strong brand identity is the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace. Guest speakers will lead an enlightening discussion on creating and maintaining your brand, developing a powerful voice, and how technology can support those efforts.  The event is co-sponsored by the NJ Creative Professionals.
Complete event info here

Event: Investigating Government Contractors
Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Date: April 22
Location: Online
Summary: Ron Nixon, domestic correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, will share how to track local and national government spending on contractors in public databases.
Complete event info here

Event: Supercharge Your Content: Writing and Editing Essentials
Host: Ragan Communications
Date: April 22
Location: Online
Summary: Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, the famed writing and editing pro featured on Oprah, and Word Czar Rob Reinalda, Ragan Communications executive editor and master wordsmith, will discuss grammar basics, gaffes and memorization techniques.
Complete event info here. 

Event: Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling
Host: PR Newswire
Date: April 22
Location: Washington, D.C.
Summary: This forum will highlight how leading organizations and thought leaders are leveraging visual assets and a variety of multimedia services to garner higher visibility, spark interaction, generate leads and build loyalty. PR Newswire members may use promo code PRN10 to receive a discounted rate of $20.
Complete event info here. 

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Media 411: Avoid These Beginner Journalist Mistakes

The most difficult part of your career is the beginning -- the very first day of your chosen field when you go into the office, hospital, TV station or wherever it is you go and you begin doing what you’ve studied for years.

If you’re a journalist, it’s a day full of expectations, from family and friends, but mainly from within yourself. You want to do well and prove you’re a good reporter, an excellent writer and that you absolutely deserve to be where you are at that very moment.

Albeit with all the training you have, there are always ways to improve, regardless of whether you’re a novice or an experienced journalist. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you already know everything. You don’t.

If you’re just starting out as a reporter, this list will provide you with links to some really great clips with information that can help you avoid making the mistakes many newbies make.

Do you have any tips for those starting their journalism careers?

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 27 Mar 2014 14:30:34 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/27/media_411:_avoid_these_beginner_journalist_mistakes http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/27/media_411:_avoid_these_beginner_journalist_mistakes

The most difficult part of your career is the beginning -- the very first day of your chosen field when you go into the office, hospital, TV station or wherever it is you go and you begin doing what you’ve studied for years.

If you’re a journalist, it’s a day full of expectations, from family and friends, but mainly from within yourself. You want to do well and prove you’re a good reporter, an excellent writer and that you absolutely deserve to be where you are at that very moment.

Albeit with all the training you have, there are always ways to improve, regardless of whether you’re a novice or an experienced journalist. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you already know everything. You don’t.

If you’re just starting out as a reporter, this list will provide you with links to some really great clips with information that can help you avoid making the mistakes many newbies make.

Do you have any tips for those starting their journalism careers?

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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How to Get a Free Pass to ASJA. (Hint: It's Easy.) Would you like a free registration to this year’s American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in New York?

All you have to do is follow our company page on LinkedIn and join our group, ProfNet: The Expert Connection. Under the group discussion, "Tips for ProfNet Users,” share your best tip for using ProfNet to either find sources or get quoted.

On Friday, March 28, we’ll take all the names of people who left tips and will pick one person at random to receive the free pass. We’ll announce the lucky person via LinkedIn.

Good luck!

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:06:20 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/24/how_to_get_a_free_pass_to_asja._(hint:_its_easy.) http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/24/how_to_get_a_free_pass_to_asja._(hint:_its_easy.) Would you like a free registration to this year’s American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in New York?

All you have to do is follow our company page on LinkedIn and join our group, ProfNet: The Expert Connection. Under the group discussion, "Tips for ProfNet Users,” share your best tip for using ProfNet to either find sources or get quoted.

On Friday, March 28, we’ll take all the names of people who left tips and will pick one person at random to receive the free pass. We’ll announce the lucky person via LinkedIn.

Good luck!

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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SPOTLIGHT: Mark Guarino, The Christian Science Monitor Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Mark Guarino, a staff writer with The Christian Science Monitor where he covers national news and culture out of Chicago.

His byline has also run in Reuters, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Magazine, Agence France-Press (AFP), and other media outlets.

We hope you find SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.

 

Where was your first job as a journalist?

I worked as a copy editor for a suburban daily newspaper outside Chicago. Although before then, I was a prolific freelance writer. I wrote for anyone and everyone — weekly and daily newspapers, industry trade magazines, you name it.

Did you know you wanted to be a journalist when you were a kid? 

I knew I was drawn to reading and telling stories. I saw the world through storytelling and understood the power of possessing skills that can reveal truths to people that may not necessarily be evident. I also grew up in the Chicago area, which obviously has such a rich newspaper tradition, plus is a fertile place for finding and telling stories.

Please tell us about what you do at The Christian Science Monitor.

I cover national news from the central part of the United States. Which mean that, depending on the day or week, I’ll be covering crime in Chicago, a federal trial in Detroit, a union issue in Wisconsin, or a disaster in downstate Illinois. My reach often extends further South to New Orleans, where I’ve covered the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, post-Katrina issues, the mayoral race, and more.

What type of stories do you usually cover?

The Monitor specializes in an analysis approach to journalism, meaning that, besides giving readers the essential information from the ground, it digs deeper to provide a wider context. So while much of the work involves straightforward news gathering, we also tend to take a few steps and talk about the “why” of the story, and then move onto the “how.” I also have a strong culture background, so am always pursuing stories that talk about the headlines but from a cultural perspective.

Do you make suggestions as to what stories you cover or are they assigned most of the time?

I’m very self-generating in the coverage because I’m on the ground and have the sources, from Chicago all the way south to New Orleans. Also, we are driven by what’s trending online, so it becomes obvious what’s important to cover that day. But there are also times when the editors have an area they need covered that day, or week; this is especially true during an election season when there are so many issues to cover.

What type of stories do you like to cover the most?

I like covering stories that may seem small but tell a bigger story. The Monitor is great because it thrives on talking about the news from the ground up, opposed from the top down. So I’m drawn to stories that may be about a street corner, or originate from the front porch, but reflect a bigger issue, such as gentrification, the economy, or whatever. I also love culture stories that spin off from the news, like a story I did once that talked about why a Mother’s Day shooting at a street parade in New Orleans was particularly hurtful in that city due to the sanctity of life that parading culture represents.

What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you a story?

Email only, please.

What should they always do and never do?

Spend a few minutes to ask yourself these questions: Is this the best person or outlet for this story? That would avoid pitches sent to me that ask me to write about a nightclub opening in Miami.

What's the best way for someone in PR to start a working relationship with you?

No-pressure emails are best. Just be a human being and show you actually know the person and the publication you’re writing.

What tips do you have for members in responding to ProfNet queries? 

Please don’t linger: I’m usually on a tight deadline and so expediency is best. The deadline in the query is the actual deadline. Also, don’t pitch experts that obviously have nothing to do with the query, or who may provide insight that is tangential at best.

What type of experts do you prefer to work with? Do you prefer someone in a higher level role or is someone not as high acceptable? The difference between a CEO and general manager, for example?

Non-partisan experts are preferred, not necessarily activists. Also experts who are actually experts, not someone who read about it in the media and can offer thoughts. Title doesn’t matter, but having a deep understanding of the issue does.

What's the best part about your job?

Being paid to gain a deeper understanding of how the world works.

What is the toughest part about being a journalist?

I can’t think of an obvious complaint, other than it’s discouraging to read chatter about how biased journalists are, or that journalism is dying. The first could not be further from the truth (at least from my experience) and the second is premature. That stuff is usually driven by ideologues who don’t understand what journalists do (ask questions, connect dots), or people who don’t understand what the world would be like if journalism suddenly vanished.

What has been the most difficult assignment to cover?

Picking apart the minutiae that was the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to understand what was happening to write about it with clarity and authority for readers. That story had so many dimensions involving environmental engineering, maritime law, biological science, energy management, coastal ecology — Many areas general assignment journalists do not typically cover but were required to understand as that story developed each day, and is still developing as the legal battle continues in federal court.

Do you use social media as part of your job?

I vet people via social media, and sometimes scan it for sources. I also push out my stories on all platforms to help them circulate.

What's your advice for someone thinking of going into journalism and also for someone who's just starting out in the business?

You have to have passion for people and the issues that affect their lives. This is not a field for people who do not have an inherent curiosity about people or about how the world works. You can learn how to report, but you need to learn how to tell a story, which are two separate things. Also, checking the credibility of your sources is more critical than you think, especially today since the online world is full of shadows.

What do you like to do when you're not at the office?

I’m a music fan, so spend a lot of time in record stores or music clubs or theaters.

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:47:52 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/24/spotlight:_mark_guarino,_the_christian_science_monitor_ http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2014/03/24/spotlight:_mark_guarino,_the_christian_science_monitor_ Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Mark Guarino, a staff writer with The Christian Science Monitor where he covers national news and culture out of Chicago.

His byline has also run in Reuters, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Magazine, Agence France-Press (AFP), and other media outlets.

We hope you find SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.

 

Where was your first job as a journalist?

I worked as a copy editor for a suburban daily newspaper outside Chicago. Although before then, I was a prolific freelance writer. I wrote for anyone and everyone — weekly and daily newspapers, industry trade magazines, you name it.

Did you know you wanted to be a journalist when you were a kid? 

I knew I was drawn to reading and telling stories. I saw the world through storytelling and understood the power of possessing skills that can reveal truths to people that may not necessarily be evident. I also grew up in the Chicago area, which obviously has such a rich newspaper tradition, plus is a fertile place for finding and telling stories.

Please tell us about what you do at The Christian Science Monitor.

I cover national news from the central part of the United States. Which mean that, depending on the day or week, I’ll be covering crime in Chicago, a federal trial in Detroit, a union issue in Wisconsin, or a disaster in downstate Illinois. My reach often extends further South to New Orleans, where I’ve covered the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, post-Katrina issues, the mayoral race, and more.

What type of stories do you usually cover?

The Monitor specializes in an analysis approach to journalism, meaning that, besides giving readers the essential information from the ground, it digs deeper to provide a wider context. So while much of the work involves straightforward news gathering, we also tend to take a few steps and talk about the “why” of the story, and then move onto the “how.” I also have a strong culture background, so am always pursuing stories that talk about the headlines but from a cultural perspective.

Do you make suggestions as to what stories you cover or are they assigned most of the time?

I’m very self-generating in the coverage because I’m on the ground and have the sources, from Chicago all the way south to New Orleans. Also, we are driven by what’s trending online, so it becomes obvious what’s important to cover that day. But there are also times when the editors have an area they need covered that day, or week; this is especially true during an election season when there are so many issues to cover.

What type of stories do you like to cover the most?

I like covering stories that may seem small but tell a bigger story. The Monitor is great because it thrives on talking about the news from the ground up, opposed from the top down. So I’m drawn to stories that may be about a street corner, or originate from the front porch, but reflect a bigger issue, such as gentrification, the economy, or whatever. I also love culture stories that spin off from the news, like a story I did once that talked about why a Mother’s Day shooting at a street parade in New Orleans was particularly hurtful in that city due to the sanctity of life that parading culture represents.

What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you a story?

Email only, please.

What should they always do and never do?

Spend a few minutes to ask yourself these questions: Is this the best person or outlet for this story? That would avoid pitches sent to me that ask me to write about a nightclub opening in Miami.

What's the best way for someone in PR to start a working relationship with you?

No-pressure emails are best. Just be a human being and show you actually know the person and the publication you’re writing.

What tips do you have for members in responding to ProfNet queries? 

Please don’t linger: I’m usually on a tight deadline and so expediency is best. The deadline in the query is the actual deadline. Also, don’t pitch experts that obviously have nothing to do with the query, or who may provide insight that is tangential at best.

What type of experts do you prefer to work with? Do you prefer someone in a higher level role or is someone not as high acceptable? The difference between a CEO and general manager, for example?

Non-partisan experts are preferred, not necessarily activists. Also experts who are actually experts, not someone who read about it in the media and can offer thoughts. Title doesn’t matter, but having a deep understanding of the issue does.

What's the best part about your job?

Being paid to gain a deeper understanding of how the world works.

What is the toughest part about being a journalist?

I can’t think of an obvious complaint, other than it’s discouraging to read chatter about how biased journalists are, or that journalism is dying. The first could not be further from the truth (at least from my experience) and the second is premature. That stuff is usually driven by ideologues who don’t understand what journalists do (ask questions, connect dots), or people who don’t understand what the world would be like if journalism suddenly vanished.

What has been the most difficult assignment to cover?

Picking apart the minutiae that was the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to understand what was happening to write about it with clarity and authority for readers. That story had so many dimensions involving environmental engineering, maritime law, biological science, energy management, coastal ecology — Many areas general assignment journalists do not typically cover but were required to understand as that story developed each day, and is still developing as the legal battle continues in federal court.

Do you use social media as part of your job?

I vet people via social media, and sometimes scan it for sources. I also push out my stories on all platforms to help them circulate.

What's your advice for someone thinking of going into journalism and also for someone who's just starting out in the business?

You have to have passion for people and the issues that affect their lives. This is not a field for people who do not have an inherent curiosity about people or about how the world works. You can learn how to report, but you need to learn how to tell a story, which are two separate things. Also, checking the credibility of your sources is more critical than you think, especially today since the online world is full of shadows.

What do you like to do when you're not at the office?

I’m a music fan, so spend a lot of time in record stores or music clubs or theaters.

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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