Opportunities for Digital Journalists and Social Media Mavens

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digital fellowshipLooking to hone your digital or social media skills? A slew of fellowships, scholarships, and internships with upcoming application deadlines offer an opportunity to do just that. Here’s a look at opportunities offered by ProPublica, Google, and more, listed according to application deadline:

ProPublica News Apps Fellowship: If you’re a savvy journalist who’s curious about developing news apps, then this could be the fellowship for you. The New York-based fellowship runs through the end of the year with the goal of answering the following question: “Can a smart, technical journalist with excellent and proven skills in other nerdy newsroom disciplines like graphics and CAR become a news app developer?” Coding skills are helpful but not required.
Application deadline: January 20, 2012

New York Times Social Media Internship: The Gray Lady is recruiting a social media intern for the spring semester to assist with social journalism projects and on the paper’s social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. According the Times’ website, “Candidates should understand the journalistic opportunities presented by social media … You should also have an excellent eye for detail and great news instincts.” Graduate students are preferred.
Application deadline: January 20, 2012

AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship: Open to college undergrads or grad students with a minimum 3.0 GPA, the AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship will provide $20,000 scholarships to six students who are “pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media.” The goal of the scholarship program, which is administered by the Online News Assocation, is to foster innovation and build the skills of digital-minded journalists and article writers who will ultimately become industry leaders.
Application deadline: January 27, 2012

The Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation: This year-long fellowship is a collaboration between two Harvard programs: The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Applications are asked to submit a proposal outlining “specific course of study or project relating to journalism innovation.” The Niemen-Berkman Fellow will receive a $60,000 stipend over ten months, plus additional allowances for housing, childcare, and health insurance.
Application deadline: February 15, 2012

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Track Your Freelance Writing Income More Effectively

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Keeping track of money may not be the most exciting part of freelance writing, but it’s still crucially important. In this video, we share a sample Excel spreadsheet and show step by step how I track income, deadlines, and more. If you don’t have a system yourself, Income Tracking Sheet and customize it to your needs. Have another strategy for tracking income? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

What’s in the Bag of a Freelance Radio Reporter?

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Friends have asked me why I’ve invested so much time and expense in radio gear since I mostly write for print. Simply put, I love turning in fully produced, turnkey stories and radio shows pay more for the effort. Piecing together music, interviews and sound effects is like creating an editorial illustration, which is something that I’ve done for years and enjoy. Both are very visual and conceptual mediums.

Of course, you don’t need as much gear as shown in the photo to freelance in radio, but I plan on doing more in the near future – an eye-opening experience for any freelance writers who want to do more.

A: Marantz PMD670 digital, two-track audio recorder – Marantz makes smaller, lighter recorders now (PMD 660, 661) but they don’t have as many features as the full-sized recorders, and their preamps are a bit noisy. Oade Brothers offers a nice retrofit that really improves noise on all Marantz digital recorders

B: Sennheiser MD46 cardioid dynamic microphone – Great interview mic with low handling noise and a heart-shaped pickup pattern that records from the front and sides. Durable, too. It’s survived a few drops

C: Gooseneck mic stand – Heavy but solid. Cast iron base isn’t easily knocked over

D: Audio-Technica microphone shock mount with hotshoe adapter for use on my DSLR camera

E: Audio-Technica AT835b condenser microphone – Directional mic that’s useful for noisy rooms or to record sound from afar. Very sensitive to handling noise

E: 2 XLR mic cables 5-foot/15-foot for use with the Marantz recorder

F: Sony MDR-7502 field headphones

H: Church Audio preamp – Gives my small recorders a pickup boost when using less sensitive dynamic mics. Also improves the sound on my DSLR when recording video

I: JK Audio Quick Tap – Allows me to record decent quality telephone interview sound for broadcast use

J: Audio-Technica ATR-3350 wired lavalier mic – Great way to get clean and consistent sound from a subject that’s either moving or in a loud room. I’ll use this lav mic with the Olympus LS10 clipped to the subject’s belt or in a pouch

K: Olympus WS-300M digital recorder – It’s small and can plug directly into the
computer like a USB thumb drive. I still use it to record ambient sounds or sound effects like a closing door, footsteps, restaurant noises. A single AAA battery doesn’t give you much recording time

L: Olympus LS10 digital recorder – Great small recorder that I use for all of my print story interviews. It has good preamps so also works very well for radio

M: JVC earbuds – Low profile way to monitor sound

N: Church Audio 1/8” plug-in omnidirectional dynamic mic – Cheapest way to drastically improve recording quality on a small recorder

O: Sony MDR-V6 studio headphones – I use these “cans” while doing sound editing on my desktop computer at home

Not Shown:
1 XLR to 1/8” mic cable for small recorders

Bogen monopod – I use this if I need a boom for the mic. Works alright but heavy. I’ll eventually buy a Rode Boompole

Asus 15” laptop and desktop with Sony Sound Forge and Audacity. Ideally, Pro
Tools is the standard software editor in radio but it’s expensive and has a steep learning curve.

Audacity is free, feature rich and Sound Forge allows me to clean up the work

Sennheiser G3 wireless lav mic – Great wireless system but pricey. I borrow this from a friend when needed

Journalism Grants, Fellowships, and Training Roundup

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Looking for new ways to fund your journalism project? Want to learn new multimedia skills? Have an investigative story that needs a little money? We’ve put together a few grants, fellowships, and training opportunities that could help you advance your journalism and content writing service. The deadlines are all right around the corner so apply now!

Fund For Investigative Journalism Grant
Deadline: Aug 15

The Fund’s Board of Directors meets periodically throughout the year to consider grant applications for investigative projects and books.

It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion or if the projects are published in a different form or in a different outlet than originally proposed.

All entries must be written in English.

The average grant is $5,000. The Fund will pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs or public records document fees. The Fund grants will not cover grantees’ writing fees or salaries, the costs of purchasing equipment, or other capital expenses.

Multimedia Training Course for Hispanic journalists and US journalists covering finance issues for minority and immigrant communities.
Deadline: TODAY

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is offering a Multimedia Training Course in English and Spanish. The courses are for Hispanic journalists and US journalists covering information for minority and immigrant communities. Preference will be given to journalists who cover financial issues for those communities. They will run September 2, 2011 to September 30, 2011.

This course will allow participants to have a hands-on training on a variety of topics including social media, storytelling, video editing, how to use data visualization, graphics, website development, shooting videos and more.

USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship
Deadline: Aug 26

This Fellowship is open to professional journalists from print, broadcast, and online media around the country, including freelancers. Applicants need not be fulltime health reporters, but they need to have a passion for health news (broadly defined). Applications from ethnic media journalists are strongly encouraged, as are applications proposing collaborative projects between mainstream and ethnic news outlets. Applicants must be based in the United States. Journalism students are ineligible. Please contact us at CAHealth@usc.edu if you have questions about your eligibility.

 

Knight Center/ NEA Community Arts Challenge
Deadline: August 18

If art happens in a community and no one covers it, does it have an impact? With this question in mind, Knight Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are seeking ideas from individuals and organizations for the development of new, sustainable models for arts journalism.

No idea is too unusual. Embedding a nonprofit reporter in a for-profit news organization? Creating a new collective to share professional work on a volunteer basis? Asking the community to decide which arts stories are best and put up the money to cover those? Have better ideas that never would have occurred to us on our own? Fill out and submit the online application form at www.communityartsjournalism.org.

 

Knight Foundation and NEA will award first round winners up to $20,000 to develop their “Idea to Action” plans to provide a clear description of your project and how it will impact arts journalism in your community including new ideas for collaboration and sustainability. From this pool, we will identify a second round of winners who will receive up to an additional $80,000 to implement their idea over a two year period.

 

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