Politico’s first few days off Capitol Hill

When Allbright Communications bought the website Capital New York on Sept. 3, there were several questions floating around but mainly, there was doubt.

Allbright owns Politico, one of the powerhouses for political news in Washington D.C. Politico has come a long way since its inception in 2007 and grabs the attention of roughly 5 million Americans every month.  It also publishes a newspaper four days a week that is free to pick up and brings in a good percentage of its revenue through advertisements. According to BusinessWeek, “the ads that appear in Politico come in two flavors: issue-advocacy advertising, in which a group attempts to influence a specific bit of pending legislation; and corporate image advertising, in which a company tries to burnish its own reputation in Washington.”

Politico took on the project in order to revamp the site to be focused on New York City and State politics and media coverage, rather than hyperlocal reporting. It’s part of a larger mission to “colonize” and cover politics in large markets. If all goes well in New York, Politico is looking to further broaden its horizons. Continue reading →

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Five Lessons I Learned by Applying for a Summer Internship

Journalism summer internships aren’t very difficult to come by if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  But if you’re lucky like me and have mentors left and right, it’s a really stressful process. Everyone wants to help but ends up pointing you in a different direction. This past Thursday I applied for an internship I had stumbled upon a week before.  Here are five things I thought every journalism student should consider if they ever find themselves in my shoes.

Start early. The whole “I do my best work under pressure” b.s. is just that. Bullshit. If you really want an internship, start looking in the summer and continue to do so during the semester. Make an Excel spreadsheet (lots of internships want people who can use it!) to keep track of what you’ve already applied for and what you’ll get in return (school credit or cash?).  Have your resume and clips ready. If you don’t know how to write a cover letter (like me), ask for help. If you don’t have clips, write good stuff and get it published. Pick up the phone and call the internship coordinators or the human resources departments if the information isn’t already online.  Sometimes they’ll hang up on you, sometimes they’ll be rude but if you want to be a journalist, you’re going to have to get used to it.

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On college journalism critics

Several students at my school have a problem with the way our student-run newspaper, The Statesman, and I reported on a recent car accident on campus involving one of our staff photographers. We received a letter to the editor that said my work was “offensive.”  Someone on Facebook said “we had no problem throwing one of our own under the bus.”

So I’d like to tell my side of this story. Continue reading →

“Toronto Star” cashes in for exclusive video of mayor

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (Photo credit: o.canada.com)

On Thursday, Toronto’s daily newspaper, The Toronto Star, published a new, never-before-seen video of the city’s mayor in an inebriated state.

According to PoynterThe Star paid a source $5,000 for the video.  The source claimed to have filmed it from another person’s computer. The videos shows Mayor Rob Ford, in a visibly intoxicated state, pacing around a room and yelling, threatening to commit “first degree murder.”  The story adds a new facet to Ford’s history of substance use nearly six months after Gawker started a $200,000 “Crackstarter” (don’t bother holding your laughter, I didn’t) to buy and publish a different video of the mayor supposedly smoking crack cocaine.

The Toronto newspaper originally refused to disclose the video’s price  when it initially posted the story to its website just after noon.  Poynter spoke to one of  the reporters who wrote the story, Kevin Donovan, who said “we are not disclosing the amount but it is not a lot.”

Continue reading →