The ultimate list of Tumblr blogs about data visualization, cartography and data journalism.
The esteemed William McKeen writes:
I get this a lot: “Why should I let my kid study journalism? Isn’t it a dying business?”
These days, parents generally escort their children through college preview or orientation events. The students ask about the schooling and the opportunities, then the parents ask that inevitable question. I have a response ready.
Finding good story ideas for me starts with a really big idea — say: I want to write about immigration — and then the idea gets smaller and smaller and more specific the more I learn about it. It is like working through a funnel, until you’ve got an idea that is not just about immigration, but about one person, in one place, in one moment rich with tension that says something big about the immigration moment we’re in. That process usually involves a lot of research and phone calls and pre-interviews until you find the right thing. It is like casting for characters, and I think it is the slowest and also most important part of reporting for me. I might only spend four or five days reporting on the ground for a story, with the subject I’m writing about. But I often spend twice as long finding that person, and finding that particular story.
A great way of thinking about coming up with a story to tell.
Hmm, journalism advice: I wish I had an easier answer, but I think the best advice is just to write, and write a lot. I went to a journalism school for college, and parts of that were nice, but the truth is I learned so much more just by doing the work. I wrote a lot of stories — mostly bad stories — and then they slowly got a little bit better.
Also, by writing a lot, I began to find the kind of stories that I cared about and the kind of writing that I liked, which leads me to another thought: Write about things you care about, and do work you believe in, because that will be your best stuff.
When I first came to The Post, I was writing about high school volleyball — 300 word stories, like four or five a day sometimes. I already knew then that I wanted to write in-depth, narrative pieces, but that wasn’t my job for the paper. So I made time on the side to work on some of those, because it was the stuff I cared the most about. Journalism jobs are busy and the demands at daily newspapers especially are rising, always rising. But I think as a writer you should always have one story on your plate that is for you — that you think could be great. It might be a story on the side that takes you a month, or a year, but it was important for me to always have something.
As for a favorite story, I guess I have two kinds of favorites: memorable stories because I felt them deeply and they meant a lot to me (Newtown comes to mind); and fun stories (like, say, going to the French Open to write a profile of Novak Djokovic, because work is never bad if you are sent to Paris to hang out for a few days).
On Google+, hashtags help surface related content. On Twitter, hashtags enable news to spread fast. On Facebook, hashtags turn your posts into garbage.
It’s that semester again. “Fall.” Come spend it as an intern for Tumblr.
Email your resume, Tumblr URL, and a short cover letter to email@example.com, and include the team you’re applying to in the subject line.
Plus: Fall in New York City. Best season, no contest.
Interning for Tumblr. Would you be an Intrn, then?