The Weekly Illumination — Issue 3

Welcome to the The Weekly Illumination, a JTM newsletter offering a quick look at the week in journalism with a focus on what’s working in today’s news ecology. The Illumination is a curated collection of stories about journalism innovation, notable job opportunities, grants and updates about Journalism that Matters.

The newsletter is distributed to e-mail subscribers, through the JTM Google Group, and posted to the Illuminations blog. In this week’s Illumination we’ll explore the future of journalism education, federal shield laws and the continuing evolution of social media.

“It is about male grooming, not Charles Manson.”

In what may be the best correction ever printed, the Sept. 1 edition of The New York Times writes, “An article last Sunday about the documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, who has a news film out on the boy band One Direction, misstated the subject of his 2012 movie ‘Mansome.’ It is about male grooming, not Charles Manson.”

What do we need from journalism?

JTM Board Member Peggy Holman published her first installment of a series she’s writing about the purpose of journalism, which is a culmination of the thirteen years she’s spent leading conversations with journalists through JTM and other avenues. Holman writes that journalism “engages, inspires, and activates us to be free and self-governing” in addition to informing us about our world.

TechCrunch Vs. The Awl

Elite Daily, a Web site that proclaims itself the “online destination for Generation Y,” has apparently ignited a feud between two other Web sites after TechCrunch published a superficial story about the portal in June. The next month, The Awl ran a scathing expose about Elite Daily, which included a link to the original story. TechCrunch then took down its story and has since published a new report that illuminates the shady practices uncovered by The Awl as well as Elite Daily’s response. Now the Awl has fired back with a new article under the headline “TechCrunch: Journalists or Startup Shills? You Decide.

The right to report

Two U.S. journalists are facing legal peril this week for their reporting. Barrett Brown, a reporter who focuses on intelligence contractors, is facing up to 100 years in prison. The government alleges that he threatened an FBI agent, obstructed justice and linked to a chat room where unlawful credit card information was allegedly posted. “By seeking to put Brown in prison for linking to publicly-available, factual information, the U.S. government sends an ominous message to journalists who wish to act responsibly by substantiating their reporting,” writes CPJ Internet Advocacy Coordinator Geoff King. Now, a federal judge has ordered a gag order barring Brown and his attorneys from speaking about the case.

Joe Hosey, a veteran reporter who was covering a murder trial outside of Chicago, does not qualify for protections under the state shield law, ruled Gerald Kinney. Kinney said he will compel Hosey to disclose who released confidential police documents, but the Chicago SPJ chapter has called on the judge to reconsider.

The Future of the New York Times

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson spoke at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism this week. The Nieman Lab has a summary of his remarks.

Job(s) of the Week

The International Center for Journalists is hiring a Knight Fellow to work in Nigeria for the next 10 months. “The Fellow will work with other ICFJ Fellows both in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa,  as well as local and international technologists, to ensure that our journalist partners produce health stories that engage audiences.”

Each week, The Illumination will include links to jobs, grants and fellowship opportunities. If you are hiring or know someone who is, send me an e-mail and I’ll gladly list it here. If you’re looking for a job, let me know what kind of work you are looking for and I’ll try to post anything I come across that could be a good fit.

Hangout Sept. 12 to Discuss Future of JTM

For over a decade JTM has hosted unconferences around the country.  We are now looking toward how we can grow as an organization.

Should we continue to focus on hosting physical gatherings? Should we move into online gatherings? Or should we take our energy and nonprofit status and launch a whole new initiative?

Please join usThursday Sept. 12 at 1PM Pacific Time (4PM Eastern) for a Hangout discussion on the future of JTM.