October 6, 2009

Undercover journalists checking out covers

A new website is offering journalists with good reporting and writing skills the chance to go undercover, actually under the covers. Yes, there are more journalists  bed blogging.

So, let's go to New Jersey this time where Star-Ledger reporter Leslie Kwoh writes about the 20 undercover reporters writing about the covers as part of their hotel ratings for a new web site. in Hotel reviews, with a little investigative journalism

She talked with Elie Seidman, the co-founder and chief executive of the Oyster Hotel Reviews and with journalists like the 48-year-old Richard Linnet who had been jobless for nearly a year before landing this gig.
Kwoh tells us the hotel visits are done anonymously, reporters "travel on average two weeks out of five and follow a 65-page manual as they hunt for sofa stains, take stock of the minibar, try out the room service, and even note the brand of each mattress and shampoo. Using a $4,000 Nikon camera and lenses, they snap hundreds of photos that eventually appear, undoctored, alongside a 2,000-word review"

The competition is stiff for a job that requires reporting experience:: An ad for six job openings drew 1,500 resumes.

Here's part of Richard L's bio from the review site:
Richard L. has been knocking around for a while, from Southeast Asia to South Central LA. He's done Hollywood (onset carpenter to screenwriter) and Madison Ave. (agency executive) and has no regrets. He's lived on both Coasts and points in between, as well as Paris and a village in Charente Maritime. He hopes to eventually retire to a pokey Shasta trailer parked alongside a sulfurous hot spring.
The site also notes he's written for Media Magazine, Cineaste, Ad Week, Advertising Age, Penthouse, Hustler,among others.

So head over to NJ.com for a quick read.  For more inspiration, come back for posts about JWJ - Journalists with Jobs, especially people formerly employed in newsrooms:
I list more in Writing about Jobs for Journalists

Or maybe you remember G.D. Gearino, mattresses and a dream blog.


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