The Virginian-Pilot


Coaches’ Corner: The story behind ‘Then the Walls Closed In’

Coaches’ corner
Once upon a time, there were writing coaches in newsrooms across the country, and then, there weren’t. In this new monthly feature, we hope to help writers and editors by sharing advice about storytelling and enterprise.
Previous Coaches Corner:  ‘The story behind ‘Chasing Bayla’


The story: Then the Walls Closed In, a four-part series about three families’ struggles with Chinese-made drywall, written by Sarah Kleiner.
FromThe Virginian-Pilot
When it ran: June 29-July 2, 2014
What inspired the story: The editor got a tip about a drywall victim’s saga. That woman inspired the series, though ultimately she didn’t make it into the stories.
Time from idea to publication: That first interview was in September 2013. The series ran nine months later. Read more


Here are 80 journalism internships and fellowships for application season

For most journalism students, the biggest step toward finding employment isn’t passing the final. It isn’t acing midterms, turning in homework or even meeting deadlines at the college paper.

The most critical period in journalism school is the three-month window stretching from September to November informally known as internship application season. Getting professional experience and making contacts through an internship can mean the difference between landing a job or being unemployed after commencement.

That season is upon us. So write up a cover letter, polish your resumé and start applying to the internships listed below that pique your interest. Application deadlines for some of the best internships are in less than a week, so don’t wait!

If you have questions about this list or know of other internships I’ve missed, send me an email: Read more


University of Georgia j-school rescinds invitation to Liberian journalist

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. University of Georgia panics, rescinds invitation to Liberian journalist: It canceled Wade C.L. Williams‘ invitation to speak Oct. 23. “It just became abundantly clear we had a risk scenario and a situation on our hands that was a little more sensitive issue,” Grady College dean Charles N. Davis tells Brad Schrade. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) | Williams: “A woman with a pleasant voice delicately told me that parents were panicking and the general public was against my coming to the university.” (FrontPageAfrica) | What sort of lecture was UGA planning? “Ebola in humans is spread only through direct contact with virus-laden bodily fluids, and is not as transmissible as such airborne viruses as influenza and measles.” (WP) | Related: Why Guardian journalist Monica Mark decided not to wear a hazmat suit while reporting on Ebola: “It’s really difficult to get someone to open up to when you’re wearing it.” (IBT)
  2. The ethics of the Guardian’s Whisper scoop: Was it OK for it to report on something it learned during a meeting about a potential partnership?
Read more
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Here are 40 great journalism internships and fellowships for application season

New: Here are 80 journalism internships and fellowships for the 2015-16 application season

For journalism students, October through January is internship application season, a pressure cooker of equal parts excitement and anxiety.

It’s our profession’s draft day. By mid-march, most of your classmates will have declared their intention to work at a journalism organization, like a prized NFL recruit putting on their team’s hat in front of a live studio audience.

Don’t get left behind. Some of the applications for the most prestigious news organizations are due in a few weeks time, so work up the courage to request that letter of recommendation, update your résumé and figure out how stamps work.

To make the process a little easier, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best journalism internships I could find on the Web, many of which I applied for myself when I was in school. Read more

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Knight Foundation announces winners of prototype grants

Knight Foundation

A button that allows readers to “do public good,” a service that alerts readers to incorrect articles that have been shared on social media and a database that allows Massachusetts journalists to monitor court cases are among the projects that were awarded Prototype Fund grants, the Knight Foundation announced today. Read more

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‘Enough’! Newspapers chronicle never-ending winter


It’s March, right? After another round of snow, ice and cold in many parts of the country, it’s hard to tell.

The Virginian-Pilot has clearly had enough.

Read more


OC Register, investing heavily in print, also readies paywall

News & Tech | Nieman
The Orange County Register is preparing to launch a metered paywall this year, News & Tech reports. New Register owner Aaron Kushner has made no secret of his plans to charge for online access to the paper, but stories about his stewardship so far have focused mostly on his “print-first” strategy — adding journalists, print editions and forging closer ties between community organizations and the printed newspaper.

To make money on those investments in an age of declining print advertising, Kushner needs to bring in more money from circulation, Ken Doctor wrote last week. The Register, he said, has to install a gate to retain readers who may balk at increased subscription prices:

Once [the price of a print sub] goes up, the Register’s subscribers will no longer have the choice of dropping their subscriptions in favor of free digital.

Read more

A correction from The Virginian-Pilot:

Because of an editing error, a story (“Odd Fellows”) in the Sunday Magazine section about unusual relationships between animals incorrectly characterized interactions between Nikki the parrot and Mavish the cat. The parrot does talk and actually says, “Give me a kiss!” when playing with the cat.

Thanks to @larrybuch and @charlesapple for the tip.

The Virginian Pilot

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