The reading list: Week 7

It’s that time again when we let you know what journalists, journals and online articles have been the focus of our hack-ttention.

Please let us know of any other interesting blogs/sites/articles by commenting below, emailing us at or tweeting us (@wannabehacks). Here goes…

First up this week is 10 Ways To Become A More Efficient And Productive Blogger – I know that there are 100s if not 1000s of these posts on the internet, but this one struck a chord with me, especially point 3:

3. Make the most of your creative highs
One of the keys to blogging is finding the balance between your right and left brain. Your left brain wants you to write on a specific schedule and pushes you to complete that task regardless of how you feel about it. Your right brain is waiting for the inspiration to hit you and it isn’t on a time frame.We all have those days when we are feeling extra creative and inspired. Those are the days when everything just flows and it feels like it’s all working perfectly. When you have a day like that, it is worth it to just keep writing. Those days are magical, and noticing that and taking advantage of it will really increase your productivity.

On ‘‘ there a little post about niche expertise and social media, it is very succinct, but raises some good discussion points.

Andy Dickinson gives some great insight into the teaching process he undergoes with his students with a blog post titled – Ivory tower dispatch: Nothing is simple anymore. He summarises that:

It’s not as simple as just talking to the community anymore – we interact. Everything is made more complex by technology and the influx of digital. Some of it is in our control. Some of it isn’t.

On Sharon O’Dea there was cautionary reminder about the unknown aspects of social media sites and content control – Brands on Facebook: a cautionary tale

And to finish this week Jon Slattery writes about the NUJ’s efforts to get back pay for journalism interns

As ever, anything we have missed, add it in the comments…


About Nick Petrie
Social Media & Campaigns Editor @TheTimes of London. Co-founder @Wannabehacks. Interested in communities, conversations, storytelling.

2 Responses to The reading list: Week 7

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The reading list: Week 7 « Wannabe Hacks --

  2. Peter Demain says:

    It could be that one day soon journalists will again be recognised amongst locals like in the days before all who have written and most who read this site existed. The character of British people isn’t much changed – indeed it would take centuries of advance to alter language and behaviour beyond relatively straightforward comprehension.

    Problem with efficiency and ‘productivity’ is that it varies for everyone. Good things take time and effort; a fine article with everything you want in is well worth doing at a steady pace. A rush job means the ‘product’ is likelier to be inferior, which introduces a fallacy within that word ‘productivity’: What’s better – a career with 250,000 words of groundbreaking quality? Or one spanning 5,000,000 of mostly unthinking tripe?

    I know which sort is valued more by the majority of the present print orthodoxy.

    Recall the old phrase applied to the Soviets in their pre-war years: “Good, fast and cheap; choose two and forego the other.” – If you go for all three you’ll end up worst off.

    Firm politeness is treated in kind by most; indeed we’re fortunate in being a generally sanguine, gentle populace especially since the decline of physical labour. Certain other nations lack this character – that makes journalism a different game. However for certain ventures one must be blunt and coercive; like medicine, the press is a trade that needs people of temperaments low and high.

    Reading you wanted, so here it is: Buy “A Hack’s Progress” by Phillip Knightley – this fellow worked at The Times in its ‘glory years’ of the 1970s. It’s a straight-talking, to the point autobiography by a renowned old school journalist.

    Other book is Harold Evans’ “Good Times, Bad Times” – this is the former Times editor’s chronicle of the turning point for the paper when Murdoch moved in, but also contains much about the acclaimed Insight investigations which pretty much outstrip today’s standard by far: They only just had telephones with buttons on back then; digital technology was unadopted and new-fangled, yet they pulled off amazing journalism the sort of which has all but vanished today.

    Both are out of print though used hardbacks of both can be found on Amazon for under £6 delivered.

    Pete, editor at Dirty Garnet.

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