Journalism Training Ideas

In one of the first posts on this blog, we talked about different methods for journalism training, and how ASBPE might help in that arena. In keeping with that theme, here few training resources and ideas:

A Clearinghouse for Journalism Training Resources. Last month, I mentioned ASBPE's membership in the Council of National Journalism Organizations and the Council's work on ethics. Another area where CNJO is trying to aggregate industry efforts is the training of journalists.

Back in 2001, the Council worked with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop a survey on the state of journalism training. Nearly 2,000 news executives and staffers were interviewed for the project. The next year, the Knight Foundation published a study for CNJO titled "Newsroom Training: Where's the Investment?" Its conclusions: Lack of training is the major source of job dissatisfaction for U.S. journalists — even ahead of pay and benefits.

So the Council, in conjunction with the Knight Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists, developed the site The goal is to have all journalism training sources — including J-schools, conferences like ASBPE's, and other venues — listed.

Training by Truck? Folio: magazine editor Tony Silber pitched an interesting approach to training at ASBPE's national conference: A mobile training tour.

The plan involves renting a tractor-trailer and using it as a mini-conference facility. The truck would travel around the country to different publishing companies, which would contract with Folio: for training. The entourage would set up shop in the company's parking lot and editors could come down for a morning or afternoon of training — without taking much time away from the office.

The idea hasn't become reality yet, and it won't happen this year, but it is a pet project that Silber would like to see come to fruition.

Training Newbies, an Hour at a Time. On the ASBPE discussion forum, editorial consultant and ASBPE Lifetime Achievement Award winner Howard Rauch recently offered copies of a guide for training new editorial recruits by spending an hour a day bringing them up to speed. He extends that offer to the general public as well.

Rauch's 10-day schedule covers editing and production basics as well as training in industry background. It assumes that the new editors will be required to spend an additional hour a day reading back issues of the magazine, making notes, and then raising questions during the regular training sessions.

If you'd like to get a copy of the guide, contact Howard at or fax your request to (201) 569-2234.

Framingham IT Mag Looking for At-Large Editor

Redmond magazine in Framingham, Mass., is looking for an experienced writer and editor to serve as its editor at large. I admit I know very little about the publication, other than that it’s owned by 101communications, a company founded in 1998, and bills itself as “the independent voice of the Microsoft IT community.” For a job description and contact information, see the ASBPE job board.

Some Controversy About B2B Ethics

On American Business Media's MediaPace blog, Steve Ennen had this to say about ethics, and, more specifically, ASBPE's plans to update its ethics code. National ASBPE treasurer Ira Pilchen responded to Ennen's post via a comment.

I'd second what Ira says about the volunteer structure of ASBPE affecting our ability to respond quickly to emerging issues in B2B publishing. But it never hurts to be challenged to take a more active role in our industry. In fact, ASBPE is looking at ways to increase our support of B2B journalists when it comes to dealing with ethical issues, and Steve Ennen's post on MediaPace has stimulated some discussion on the topic within ASBPE.

Here's what blogger and editorial consultant Paul Conley had to say about ethics, and ASBPE's and ABM's role.

When it comes to ethics, do you need more help from ASBPE than you're getting? What would be the best way for ASBPE to help you with ethical problems? Does your publisher support participation in editorial organizations?

I heartily agree with Ira on one point in particular: The more editors participate in ASBPE, the more our organization will be able develop the human infrastructure to respond quickly to issues like the ethical pressures Ennen mentions.



Update on Ethics

Folio: did a short piece on ethics and our plans to revamp our ethics code.

MediaBistro Boston Seminars

MediaBistro is starting up a Boston seminar series in September. One that should be useful is the day-long Sept. 29 session, Copyediting: 100 Things Every Copy Editor Should Know. Not only will it cover grammar, usage, and style, but it will discuss workflow and interpersonal issues involved with copyediting. The workshop will also go into the strengths and weaknesses of various style guides and references. The instructor is Wendalyn Nichols, editor of Copy Editor newsletter. Atlantic Monthly language columnist (and Copy Editor editor emeritus) Barbara Wallraff will be a guest speaker during one of the sessions. Additional information is available on the web site for McMurry Inc., which publishes Copy Editor.

Other seminars this fall will cover travel writing, writing book proposals for nonfiction books, and breaking into TV news production.

B2B Editorial Ethics

ASBPE is about to completely rewrite its code of ethics — an effort that's long overdue. The national organization is assembling a committee to look at the code and make changes for approval by the national board. (Approval will likely happen at the next national board meeting, in November.)

If you'd like to be part of this effort, contact national president Roy Harris.

Take a look at these discussions — both the original posts and the subsequent comments — on B2B publishing ethics on Paul Conley's blog and David Shaw's blog.