The reading list: Week 8/9

It’s that time again when we let you know what journalists, journals and online articles have been the focus of our hack-ttention. There was no reading list on Hacks last week, so this week we are going for a bumper set of recommendations.

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

This week we are starting of with none other that Adam Westbrook whose blog on entrepreneurial journalism has been a valuable resource to us, but we are picking a specific post today, titled: The “Pr” approach to being a freelance journalist he writes:

…in this brave new world where the opportunities for the enterprising young journalist are limitless, it’s important to approach it in the right way. So I’ve come up with this ‘Pr’ list of qualities which every journalist should aim for – and they’re one’s every journalist can.

… it then goes on to outline four brilliant qualities – anyway enough talking, go have a read.


Photo courtesy of go ask alice . . .

Felix Salmon has written a great bog post about a talk he gave at the CJR breakfast – it was about teaching journalists to read.

On That is just Marc Thomas reflects on What Andy Warhol taught me about Social Media.

We have some more practical advice from Journalism lives this week we are focusing on: Embracing the power of the to-do list (the blog is full of tons of useful posts)

On Strange Attractor Suw Charman-Anderson writes about the problems facing journalism start-ups looking for funding:

Journalism innovation certainly isn’t simple – all the simple stuff has been done already. It’s not mass market either – the fragmentation of the market is one of the key problems that any start-up would have to overcome. The fact that audiences are time- and attention-poor and have a myriad options to choose from when it comes to how they spend that time and attention has pretty much destroyed the ‘monetise eyeballs’ business model, so any new model has to depend on niche markets. And as for profitability, given the potential need for extensive research, experimentation and change, I don’t think that many journalism start-ups will find profitability within three years, and it’ll probably be more like five. How many VCs would be happy to fund a start-up that is complex, niche, and slow to profitability?

It is a good read and asks some important questions about open data vs sustainable business.

Alison Gow has written a great anecdotal post on her blog Headlines and Deadlines about how it’s not a story until it has been told.

On the Guardian Peter Preston gives his opinion on the potential of the Independent’s new paper venture the ‘i’.

On Clickz Mark Jackson has written about the relationship between Social Media and SEO – it contains advice that anyone running their own blog / online project should bare in mind.

On his blog Digital Marketing Mercenary, Steve Farnsworth writes about the biggest mistakes that companies make with social media – a good excerpt is below and you can head here to read it all:

Fundamentally, marketing has always been about conversations between the maker and buyers of goods or services. In the past it was always one-to-many, like broadcast advertising. However, given the role of the Internet in our everyday communications we now have a many-to-many or omni-directional conversation, with consumers talking and sharing with others on a massive scale. It’s surprising how many marketers and senior executives live in the past where they delude themselves that they still control the message and the medium. How do these guys keep their jobs?

Finally we are going to recommend the Q&A we took part in last week – Survival guide for a budding journalist – there were loads of great people on the panel and there really was some good advice given to the questions asked by budding journos – there is a lot there, so don’t try and read it all but it should be dipped in and out of.

Anything must reads we have missed? Pop them in the comments.


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

One Response to The reading list: Week 8/9

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