Slimp and Schwartz partnering to fix college journalism

K&K announcement Very excited to announce that I will be partnering up with Kevin Slimp, a well-known speaker, trainer and consultant to the newspaper industry, to bring a unique collegiate journalism training and consulting practice to collegiate journalism and media organizations. Much more on this to come later, but we are now booking dates for 2015.

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Why does the NYT still think it can digitally transform?

Well, I finally read the much-ballyhooed internal reportNYT art by the New York Times that was released on Buzzfeed the other day (irony implied). It paints a picture of a company acutely self-aware that it is not generating the necessary digital numbers to compete for a much larger share of available digital advertising revenue.

But it also seems to conclude that there is a hidden combination of audience development techniques and internal collaboration to doing so that simply needs to be identified and unlocked, thereby vaulting the venerable old brand when, in fact, the nature of that brand is exactly why it will never win the digital game.

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Yet more on saving collegiate print editions

SlimpMay14 (1)I am going to ride this topic for all it is worth. My dream would be that it would change the mind of at least one daily paper considering killing its print edition or dropping publication days.

Thanks to Kevin Slimp for this opportunity. Coming to a trade journal or association website near you soon. I think you’ll be able to click on this image and make it readable (content not withstanding:)

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Art & Arias this Friday in St. Pete

Art-Arias inviteFor more information please contact: Kevin Schwartz, kevin@schwartzmediasolutions.com

St. Petersburg Opera Company presents:

Art & Arias: PaperSolo Art Exhibit by Patsie McCandless with Arias by Susan Hellman

6 – 9 p.m. Friday, MAY 2, 2014 The Gallery @ Opera Central – 2145 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg

Free Admission – Free Parking – Refreshments

            Drop in anytime between 6 and 9 p.m. May 2 and join us for this unique fusion of vocal performance and art exhibit in our newly renovated headquarters.

Patsie McCandless is the imagineer paper artist of PaperSolo, and Susan Hellman is the passionate soprano, fresh from her triumph in the lead role of the opera ‘Susannah’. Both will dazzle the senses at this free exhibition and performance, “Art & Arias” presented by the St. Petersburg Opera Company at Opera Central located at 2145 1st Avenue S. in the new Arts District.

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Oooo – that’s going to leave a mark

I am going to get out in front of this.

I am proactively offering apologies and seeking forgiveness for anything you read attributed to me in USA Today that you don’t care for, either personally or professionally. Probably Monday, but I can’t be sure.

There.

The problem is that media reporter Roger Yu wanted to talk about the economics of college newspapers. But he said what was going to be a cover story got changed into a short piece that put him on a tight deadline on a complex subject on which he had read practically nothing recently. He emailed me at 2 p.m. and needed to talk no later than 3 p.m.

Uh-oh.

So I yacked at him for a good 45 minutes. My prediction is that very little of what I intended to get through will make the final story, and what does will be turned into about one graf of a 15-inch story that will probably use the recent hook of the announcement by the Columbia Daily Spectator that it won’t be so daily anymore to mash up the usual boiler-plate reasons for this cascading phenomenon.

As usual, I will likely be presenting the singular opposing “whacko” view that collegiate papers should cling to their print editions less they become — as organizations — rudderless digital ghosts, largely relegated to the scrap heap of bloggery, unable to generate enough revenue to keep the hamsters spinning the wheel.

He did say he’d plug my website in the online version. Alas, we’ll have to wait and see. But I am sorry :)

 

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Should college media staffs unionize?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat’s the difference between the campus newspaper editor and the football team’s quarterback? Besides the potential gender differentiation and a wide gap in combine stats, not much really.

Newspaper editors and assistant-editor level staffers at the nation’s 100 or so collegiate daily newspapers toil in their extracurricular activity just as many hours and with all the passion of collegiate varsity athletes. It’s just that their teams don’t perform in public athletic stadiums directly against a foe and with potentially large in-person and media audiences. However their audiences number in the tens of thousands each, much greater numbers than those who watch just about any varsity sport at their school, save of course for football and men’s basketball.

They work weekends, late nights five times a week and are on call 24/7. The carry full class loads, go to class – for the most part – study and take exams and turn in massive papers. Some even have a job outside the paper to help pay some of the bills. A top news desk editor’s stipend averages about $2,400 a year, although the pay spread is very wide. The IRS and Department of Labor has said for years this is okay if they are full-time students and what they do fulfills the organization’s educational mission. Most staffers aren’t paid a dime.

As I’ve said many, many times: It is not the extracurricular activity for everyone.

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