I’m so bad with updating this blog that, by now, all of you have probably checked out the following link. it’s been sitting on my bookmark list for ages but only today I had some spare time to pay this space a visit. it’s called stuff journalists like and… hmm, yeah, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
wired magazine is awesome, I’m sure I’m not breaking any news here. But of all the cool features and blogs that the mag includes, one of them has been catching my attention - storyboard.
Storyboard is the story of a story or, as they call it, a profile of a profile.
It all started here and the experiment has been updated with fresh content on an almost daily basis.
Wired is putting itself out there and revealing the whole process of one of their features, using a profile of Charlie Kaufman as the subject.
(see? It’s all so deliciously meta - even the subject of the subject is interesting! And have you noticed how this is a blog post about a series of blog posts? Fantastic!)
So, anyway, just wanted to give the suggestion to those who were distracted enough to have missed it.
Back to my own stories now.
This blog post should have been written ages ago but I’ve been so busy it was absolutely impossible. I’ve been learning a lot about start-up businesses in New Zealand lately and have met some real bright minds and great entrepreneurs.
Piero told me about crackerjacks so I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to tell you all about it too.
Because I’m too lazy busy to write something out of it, I’ll impress you all with my copy/paste talent and present you the (almost complete) media release:
New Zealand’s contracting market is set to be cracked open with a new website – ‘Crackerjacks’ – which takes the hassles out of contract recruitment.
Frustrated by the downsides of hiring contractors himself, experienced business manager Tony Wai has created ‘Crackerjacks’ to make it easier for Kiwis to embrace the contracting trend.
The website provides a marketplace where contractors and businesses can meet: Employers seek talent from registered ‘Crackerjacks’ who in turn, receive the tools they need to manage and get great contracts.
Wai estimates fee revenue earned by agencies from contracting in New Zealand is about $350 million annually.
“In this tight labour market, contracting is a good option for businesses to get the skills they need. And with New Zealanders crying out for more leave and greater flexibility of working hours, it’s also a great way to achieve the much vaunted work life balance.”
Wai came up with the Crackerjacks idea while working in senior finance roles in some of NZ’s largest companies.
“It could take days to find the right person and we were always up against the gun with project deadlines. Then it was a big let down if they didn’t fit.”
Crackerjacks helps eliminate the guesswork from hiring contractors with a calendar and forward booking system. All contractors are reference checked and a quality performance rating system gives businesses confidence in a quality candidate pool. This also helps contractors build their profile and reputation for great work.
With no ongoing fees, businesses pay less to find contractors through Crackerjacks and for the contractors themselves, there’s no middleman clipping the ticket as they work.
Wai says contracting is becoming increasingly attractive for businesses as it reduces their administrative burden in the area of payroll and removes constraints for employment legislation such as the Holidays Act 2003 and Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
Crackerjacks is approaching the country’s leading companies to list contracts on their site and is inviting prospective and current contractors to register, get reference checked and get in line for work.
The site is expected to be popular for contractors in the sales and marketing, finance, IT and HR fields initially. Next steps include making room for specialisation in the health and education sectors and launching Crackerjacks across the Tasman next year.
to learn more about crackerjacks click here.
This is from today’s online edition of the NZ Herald, updated less than one hour ago:
Judge restricts online reporting of case
A judge has today taken the unprecedented step of banning news websites from naming two men charged with murder while allowing newspapers, radio stations and TV networks to reveal who they are.
Judge David Harvey said online media could not use the names, or publish images of the accused, to prevent the public searching for the information when the case comes to trial.
He said he was “concerned about someone Googling someone’s name and being able to access it later”.
He was also “concerned about the viral effect of digital publication”.
(…) read the full story here.
I always try to see the other side of things but I’m finding it particularly hard to do it in this case. So online journalists and print journalists should have a different set of rules? It all seems not only wrong and unfair but also terribly pointless to me. For as long as newspapers have been around people have been able to go to libraries or archives and search old editions. Google has just made it easier but it’s mainly the same process. The print edition of tomorrow’s Herald will have the name of the suspects. So what happens if a blogger decides to post a blog post about it and mention their names?
I know this is not any judge - he’s actually written a book on internet law. But, really, it does sound to me like this goes against a number of things, including freedom of speech. What’s really shocking to me is not that journalists are being stopped from doing their mission - informing their audience. What really shocks me is that it’s only *some* journalists that are having to do so. I wonder if this is even legal…
this post was originally posted on Tomorrow’s News Tomorrow’s Journalists and it was my first contribution to the project.
The young generations grew up in a world where media is totally different to what it was for our parents and the generations before them. Like any social change, it takes some time to adjust to a new reality and there is always a culture and generational clash. It’s going to take some years (decades, I’d say) until everything is going full-speed.
Computers, cell phones, internet… they’ve all been present for the vast majority of my twenty-something years. I grew up with them and, in doing so, adapting myself to their presence was a natural and unconscious process. Not so for our parents.
Many older journalists seem to be refusing to adjust to this shift in the cultural paradigm. It’s not our job to tell them they’re wrong - they’ll figure it out by themselves. In many cases, they adjust ever so slightly, by using the web as an archive for material published in the past. The web is still the print’s poor cousin for these journalists and they can’t quite see its potential.
We just happened to be doing what we do in this time. We’re experiencing journalism and communication in a time when journalism and communication are going through major changes. We’re a part of that change and we’re able to embrace it. Others aren’t and probably won’t. Perhaps this is a bit too pessimistic but it’s possible that things will only get better once our generation becomes the old generation that fills up the big chairs in the newsrooms.
The biggest challenge is not the lack of employment – there are always stories to be told and people that want to know them so being pro-active will always take you somewhere. The biggest challenge is not the fact that most school curricula do not prepare us for the job but only leave us with a brain full of theories, that would only be good for a conversation in a bar and not much else. Theory is something good to have when you need to look smart but the job will really only be learnt once they hand you a notebook or a dictaphone and send you out of the newsroom.
None of those challenges or fears come close to the problem we’re facing for being the generation at work during the shift. Sure they’re right when they say they had their challenges and changes to face. However, moving from the man on the bike dropping the newspaper at your doorstep to the RSS feed reader or the email newsletter is one of the biggest changes the world has ever faced. Living and working in a time where both co-exist is perhaps one of the hardest jobs to have and the young journalists’ biggest challenge.
a few days ago i published a post with 5 reasons why i love my job. there’s a bunch of stuff i don’t love about my job (and i write “don’t love” to stop myself from writing “hate”). the first one i can think of is writing titles. i hate it i hate it i hate it. i never know what to write and sometimes the shortest title takes me longer to write than the longest article.
it might look like a minor issue but it’s not, really. titles are a very important part of a story and writing stories is one of the most important parts of a journalist’s job. when the busy reader is going through the pages of a magazine or newspaper or jumping from news website to news website reading headlines, the title is the decisive factor between reading or not reading the story.
when i was studying to become a journalist (or sort of), a journalist that i highly respect taught me that a good title should be informative, kind of like a sum up of what the article is about, something simple and direct. supposing that the reader didn’t have time to read the whole story, the title should be enough to let him know what’s been talked about. looking at it this way, it’s kind of like the title is the tool for the lazy reader.
so i’m confused: to we want readers to read our stories or not? should the title reveal the essential like that journalist told me or should it just attract the readers’ attention and make them want to know more about what’s being talked about? if that’s the case, maybe “informative” isn’t the best adjective to define a good title. creative or appealing, perhaps. and maybe it doesn’t have to tell much about what happened, forcing the reader to at least pay attention to the first couple of paragraphs of the story.
well, all this rant is to justify the fact that i suck at choosing titles. that’s it.