November 11, 2009

Detroit Daily Press launching inch by site

Detroit's newest daily newspaper, the Detroit Daily Press, launched a Facebook page and is showing signs of launch.

The Detroit, Michigan, newspaper has set up its headquarters in a building that once housed the Royal Oak DailyTribune.and hired staff who once worked for the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Oakland Press and other Michigan newspapers.  

A posted photo says the sports team includes Dave Holzman, Daved Cintron, James Briggs, Hawke Fracassa, Jason Pinter, Peg McNichol, and Wendy Clem. But on LinkedIn, Wendy Clem says she will cover Wayne County. LinkedIn also says Allan Gilles is senior graphic designer. Another poster at a Detroit site says the just-released commemorative issue also has Rob Parker's byline there.

Meanwhile,  Bruce McLauglan, a former Detroit News editor, who took up motorcycle racing at age 39, is the managing editor who is taking resumes (and reminds a Faceback poster that competition is tough.)

Brothers Gary and Mark Stern had announced back in June that they would launch the daily newspaper, just a few months after the Detroit newspapers and 10 days after three other Michigan newspapers went to three days a week. As Ken Doctor wrote then, even the title is a rebuke.

Those who subscribe by Dec. 27 can get the daily newspaper for $3 a week. Regular price is $3.75. The goal: 150,000 subscribers.

Hat tip to Bill Shea who  posts an update and says watch for more on Friday on Crain's Detroit site as there's a press conference scheduled.

Click on Detroit has some more details on Friday's press conference and background on the brothers who are behind the new publication.

The Detroit Daily Press was published July 22-Nov. 22 1964, and again in 1978 when the former Detroit newspapers went on strike.

Ca$hing out: Blogging for bucks not easy

This money stuff is so frustrating, so hard to understand, to decipher. I'm starting to think it might be part of the way I'm wired, a trait shared by others who once made journalism a big part of their lives.

I started the day reading a post "Tacky or not, here come the ads." I thought it was an unnecessary post, but the writer wanted to warn his audience he'll be promoting his books in his blog. I think there's no better place to post, to promote what you write then your own blog. Still it was interesting to read Joel Thurtell's struggles with other forms of advertising, a donation button and self censorship. The feelings center around what do you owe the person who is paying.

Then up pops up Jim MacMillan, a pretty smart guy/journalist/teacher, who shares what many are learning the hard way about blogging for bucks: It's not enough to blog, you need a plan.

MacMillan shares the insights he picked up at PhIJI, the Philadelphia Initiative for Journalism Innovation at Temple University in a a post Independent journalism – meet practical business practices

First, a confession from MacMillan:
"Until now, I had been both following and preaching the blogger’s if-you-build-it philosophy, which led me to only marginal monetization. I thought that if I had a sharp platform with worthwhile content, I needed only to develop and audience and the revenue would follow. I gathered followers, generated publicity and even some accolades, but I haven’t made a lot of money; barely a fraction of my previous newsroom paychecks."
Then, a quick summary of the presentations with these conclusions:
  • Business planning is like story planning: We must identify goals and stakeholders, consider scalability, and constantly evaluate and adapt. Next, journalism entrepreneurs need to learn to articulate and pitch a sustainable value proposition that makes sense.
  • Identify unmet needs, and find an audience that will pay someone or something to meet that need.
To stay up with the Temple University series, add to your bookmarks: I'd also suggest reading MacMillan as he struggles to figure out how to become an independent journalist with a paycheck big enough to cover what's necessary. His blog is Future of News.

I could send you off to some other blog posts about money or share some links of local journalism efforts, some grant funded and some hope funded. I could send you off to more posts on conferences or Tweets about reports about finding ways to pay for journalism, for journalists, for news. 

Would it matter?

November 9, 2009

Pulled quote: Words transform nothingness

The right word makes such a difference. It helps us acknowledge something vague as something concrete.
'Words do not label things already there. Words are like the knife of the carver. They free the idea, the thing, from the general formlessness of the outside. As a man speaks, not only is his language in a state of birth, so is the very thing he is talking about.'
--Eskimo saying
From Working with Words
Words are not always enough.  I sometimes find that I need a doctor to agree that I'm sick. A listen to the congestion, a peek at the inner ear, a swab of the throat - those gestures grant permission to collapse under covers.

At first, I want to explain away fatigue and other symptoms by attributing all to multiple sclerosis. Doesn't every treatment for a flareup end up with a few days of weakness? Of tiredness? Who needs a doctor for that!

Fortunately, the the sign that I'm on the road to recovery is easier to read. When I yearn for the shampoo bottle, I know wellness is near.

Deadly bullet points? Mid-Michigan Battle Decks ‘09

deadly bullet pointsHow quick are you on your feet in a presentation before people you don't know well? Or is it harder to be quick when you're presenting to people you know? Can you react quickly when the wrong slide comes up on the screen? Does your speech echo the bullet points or are people reading something different?

If you're good, consider a national contest called PowerPoint Karaoke or Battle Decks that is coming to East Lansing on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The idea behind Battle Decks is that you get up in front of a group to do a PowerPoint presentation that lasts about 5 minutes — with the kicker being that you have no idea what is in the deck you are presenting. Some of the slides may be serious quotes, another could be an Excel spreadsheet graph, some could be silly pictures. Get the details, including the prizes, in Mid-Michigan Battle Decks ‘09

I won't be there, although I am feeling very good about surviving a presentation I did last week. I tried to find a substitute since I wasn't feeling good and am trying to follow my doctor's advice to avoid people. I knew something was wrong when I arrived to a nearly full parking lot. What a joy to learn I was told the wrong time for the class - it started in 15, not 45, minutes. Fortunately, there was an experienced expert to help set up the projector and computer. I started on time, finished on time and left with mostly satisfactory evaluations. Oh yeah, I should have listened to the doctor.