Dispatches from the living amongst journalism's walking dead

Tag: about

What job is best for journalism right now?

So I’ve been going through something of a journalistic identity crisis lately that’s put me in a real malaise about the industry at large and my own career. So if you’ll let me get a little personal for a post, I could use some help crafting a useful new job that could help my newsroom – and help my future a little bit too.

After seeing just about every low point of staff morale and picking up more tasks seemingly every day – I’m not really sure how to describe what I do anymore or see what could possibly come next in my career path. (I used to have a plan – but it’s pretty much moot now.)

I have my annual review coming up at work and I hope to craft a new job description for myself.  Problem is, I’m no longer sure what I’m best suited for or what skills might be most useful for my newspaper or any other media organization.

Right now, my business cards still say Social Media Editor. While I like keeping the title so it sounds like I have a really innovative and cool job, my paper really can’t afford to have a position like that of, say, Robert Quigley in Austin. (After reading about the cool stuff he gets to do all day seemingly without any day-to-day news constraints, I wonder what paper can.)

So here’s what I’d like to know from you:

What kind of non-reporting journalist would most benefit you as a news consumer? What would you like to see a local news outlet do differently (that could realistically be achieved by one person)?

If you work in journalism, what skills are missing from your organization? What kind of online position would help the newsroom at large?

On vacation

I’ll be on vacation in San Francisco and Portland for the next ten days. So unless something pretty damn earth-shattering happens, I likely will not be blogging.

If you’d like to live vicariously through our travels, check me out on Twitter or keep an eye on our Flickr photo map. As a complete nerd, I plan to geotag most vacation photos so I can play with some Flickr map mashups when I get back. We’ll see if that actually comes to pass.

Feel free to continue submitting your own posts (on the right) in my absence. I’m still still testing out that app and will check in an approve stuff at some point over the week.


Before we even get started on developing this site, I want anyone who stumbles through here to know that this is and always will be a work in progress. I started this site not only as a place to host my work and research in new journalism, but also to serve as a tool to help me learn more development skills.

I’m not a developer – or even a web designer, really. I work in the online news department for the Cincinnati Enquirer. While I do build web pages within our existing servers and content management systems, this is my first crack at developing something in a new language. I have built several websites over the years (most defunct now), but this is an exciting new chance to learn PHP, WordPress, content management and SEO.

Because of that afore-mentioned job, I might not post as often as those who do this sort of thing for a living (see the blogroll), but I hope to be a good resource for those looking for new ideas to save journalism.

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