Interview and job hunting tips for journalists

Mick Gregory at Large

More stories from journalists who are surprised that they have been let go.

“After 17 years as a staff photographer, I was laid off via phone call on August 1st while on vacation. A lousy phone call. Does it get any more classless than that? Ok, what the Chicago Sun Times did to their photo staff gets a really special prize. Still, I thought/hoped my work would speak for me. No explanation other than the standard corporate spiel was given: “Due to reduction in staff, your job has been impacted by that… Here’s the HR rep.”

And that was that. It leaves you reeling and your head swirling with unanswered questions with no answers. I wasn’t the last hired, I’m not the oldest, I hadn’t been there the longest, I didn’t have the highest salary. I have no dependents costing the company extra money. I won awards (was even nominated for a Pulitzer), mentored students and interns, worked well with co-workers and do have tremendous ties to this community.

The past few years to ‘that’ phone call I received, work was pretty much a living hell as I witnessed the destruction of a pretty darn good newspaper (The Clarion-Ledger/ Jackson, Ms.) by people who didn’t want to be there, resented being there, had no ties to the community and didn’t want any.

When ‘it’ happens, it hurts, angers and stuns. I’m not sure what the reporter is going for with his story. But will it be any different from any other painful story? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

It’s truly is a hellish thing to be my age (55) and not have a steady income. Tell him that the myriad of paperwork involved in one’s “separation” is daunting, frustrating and seemingly endless. Tell him how frightening it is to be my age and not have health care. I know there are hundreds rowing this same boat with me… or, worse. Jim, mention those same things and apply it to job hunting, especially in this economy, in a market saturated with those same rowers stroking against a strong current. You try not to despair.” — John Dough

Amy Miller writes:

I know many excellent reporters and photographers being laid off, and while it makes for sad, depressing copy, as a reporter, what I really want to read is a thorough, in-depth analysis of the decisions a company such as Gannett has made since the advent of the Internet, especially continued raises to the top brass while continuing to slash resources at local newspapers almost to the point of nonfunctionality. Just ask anyone about Gannett’s ill-fated “Real Life Real News” strategy around 2004, when it blamed declining readership on too much hard news. It’s time to hold these news companies accountable for the regrettable and self-interested business decisions that have helped dismantle the news business and not just lay all the blame on Internet and Craigslist. While the Internet and smartphones are certainly the most disruptive factors at play, they cannot and are not the only reasons for the decline of the news business. Let’s chronicle the real tragedy: the news business itself.

Detroit Metro Times veteran Curt Guyette writes on Facebook:

After 18 years on the job, I was fired from the Metro Times on Friday. Earlier in the week we’d been told that the paper was being put up for sale, and that the information was being put on the Times-Shamrock website as we spoke, but that staff were prohibited from talking to any media about it, because the company wanted to “control” the message.

I ignored the order, and was “terminated” for “gross insubordination” and “breach of company trust.” No dispute about the insubordination; as for the breach of trust, that cuts both ways. Not sure what the future holds, but after reflecting on the situation for a few days I can say that I am relieved to be gone. The MT, for me anyway, had become a soul-killing place, and I’m happy that I’m no longer there. And now a new chapter in my life begins. Life is good.

He added this to his Facebook wall:

One thing needs to be made absolutely clear: I’ve got no gripe with the MT for firing me. My anger/resentment/disappointment/profound sorrow is reserved for what this paper I’ve been so proud of the past 18 years has become. Would I have liked to have gone out differently? Definitely. But am I sad to be gone? Not an iota. Like I said to one of my former workpals just after I got the boot, “At least there was no electroshock or forced lobotomy.” Life is good. And its going to get even better. So don’t anyone say they feel sorry for me, or that they’re sad. This is a life-changing event, that’s for sure. But just as certain is the fact that the road ahead leads to a better place.

Millions have fallen into the lower class and depend on the government for food stamps, the “Earned Income Tax Credit,” and free cell phones. It’s an historic shift that may never be reported accurately by the mainstream media. Careers are shattered, especially for Baby Boomers and the original Gen Xers. If you only read the mainstream media (MSM), you could convince yourself to jump on the food stamp gravy train. It is looking more and more attractive, especially when you can get free SmartPhones and service like millions are in Ohio and other spots in the North East. That is not a positive.

If you have been one of the highly skilled journalists or marketing professionals in major media. Your time is up.

Gannett, owner of 82 daily newspapers and 23 television stations, confirmed Tuesday that some of its local papers have cut staff over the last several weeks.

“Some of our community publishing sites are making cuts to align their business plans with local market conditions,” company spokesman Jeremy Gaines said in a statement.

The layoffs, totaling about a couple of hundred jobs, were revealed at many of the company’s local newspapers over the last 30 days. Jobs were cut both in newsrooms and business operations. Gannett also publishes USA TODAY, which has not been affected by the layoffs.

Gannett did not provide totals for the cutbacks at individual properties. Philly.com reported Monday that The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal is cutting 28 jobs.

Cutbacks have been a frequent phenomenon at newspapers in the digital era as readers and advertisers have gravitated to computers and mobile devices. Gannett’s newsrooms, like many others, have increased their investment in digital operations as part of the company’s transformation strategy in an effort to depend less on print revenue.

In June, Gannett bought competitor Belo for $2.2 billion, which would increase its broadcast portfolio from 23 to 43 stations. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Let’s get back to focusing on what is in your control. My friends in glass towers, though very productive and focused on the here and now, and gainfully employed, are always on a job hunt now. They are on the hunt every day, like tiger sharks. Some large businesses still use the infamous Enron practice of rank and yank. Many hire consultants to justify a major reorg. Most of us have survived rounds of right sizing.

Do your own business plan and stakeholder engagement analysis. Keep educating yourself and mentoring others. Build up a network of trusted friends and stay in contact with your friends and mentors from college and your first jobs.

All I am saying is remember the Boy & Girl Scouts’ code, “Be Prepared.”

Start the hunt with some of these tips:

Career sites: Linkedin.com, Twitter.com, WordPress.com, Indeed.com  and BrazenCareerist.

I like LinkedIn, let’s start there. Set up your profile from your resume. Once you are have that first draft finished, search for friends in your line of business and from college. Connect with them and see how they have written their profiles. Give a former employee or boss a good reference. Look at Groups. You will be amazed at the depth chart of Groups here. It’s networking made easy.

Brazen Careerist delivers candid, timely advice on all aspects of job hunting and success. Some recent blogs cover How to become the go-to guy (or gal), Tips to impress your interviewer and Five reasons recruiters aren’t giving you the  time of day.

WordPress is the site that I used to publish this blog. It has amazing features. Premium upgrades are very reasonable. You become your own web guru. Your friends may laugh when you tell them you blog and have a website, but when they visit your WordPress site, they should be very impressed if you have practiced a bit on the templates.

Twitter used to be the exclusive IM for journalists, I’m serious. We used to chat online about current events and helped each other out on sources and followup stories. Then Twitter went viral. My teenage daughter showed me some very funny hashtag (#) subjects, such as #thingsgirlssay; I just bit into an amazing peach, is one that cracks me up. Yes, my daughter said that. Men, try that line at the water cooler.

Indeed.com is the career site that will deliver to your email, company openings that you sign up for. Every morning I have interesting job descriptions from BP, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Anadarko.

Even though I am very happily employed and making an impact in an exciting career that I have been fine-tuning my whole life, I must keep on moving, not unlike a shark.

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One year after the tragic BP oil disaster — all clear on the beaches!

Big Brother/Big Sis will use  the BP industrial accident as a way to pump a massive big government “clean energy tax” on the American middleclass and energy businesses. This kind of propaganda is considered “news” in Venezuela, Cuba and Spain. 

Here is an e-mail blast sent out to Democrats nation-wide today:
The BP oil spill is the worst environmental disaster of its kind in our nation’s history. My administration has deployed every tool at our disposal for the response efforts. Thousands are working around the clock, including some of the top scientists and engineers from around the world.

We are working to hold BP accountable for the damage to the lands and the livelihoods of the Gulf Coast, and we are taking strong precautions to make certain a spill like this never happens again.

But our Socialist work will not end with this crisis. That’s one of the reasons why I invited lawmakers from both parties to join me at theWhite House to discuss what it will take to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil.

Today, we consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than two percent of the world’s oil reserves. Beyond the risks inherent in drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth, our dependence on oil means that we will continue to send billions of dollars of our hard-earned wealth to other countries every month — including many in dangerous and unstable regions.

In other words, our continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security. It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk. We cannot delay any longer, and that is why I am asking for your help.


The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a new future. What future is that? Big Government runs free enterprise like they do the IRS and US Post Office?  

That means continuing our unprecedented effort to make everything — from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks — more energy-efficient. It means rolling back billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy research and development.

But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future — if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And we can do that by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.

Many businesses have already embraced this idea because it provides a level of certainty about the future. And by pouring resources into research and development, by building new markets, we will reinvent our economy — creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, for new companies and new jobs all across the country.

There will be transition costs and a time of adjustment. But if we refuse to take into account the full costs of our fossil fuel addiction — and if we refuse to heed the warnings from the disaster in the Gulf — we will have missed our best chance to seize the clean-energy future we know America needs to thrive in the years and decades to come.

The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive energy and climate bill, and there is currently a plan in the Senate — a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans — that would achieve the same goal. This week, I met with congressional leaders to determine a path forward. But this is an issue that Washington has long ignored in favor of protecting the status quo.

So I’m asking for your help today to show that the American people are ready for a clean-energy future.

Never let a crisis go to waste… Who said that?

Al Gore and the Entire Democrat Party/Media Machine Pump Out Global Warming Propaganda

Copenhagen is the Mecca for Big Brother/Big Sis government elitists this month. It’s being called Dopenhagen. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe will have speaking slots at the podium in Copenhagen this week.

Well, why not? They are doing their part in population control. And the Democrats in the US will go along with Cap and Trade taxes on America and pass on some of the windfall to these dictators. This is getting ugly. 

Mugabe may have to apologize for burning his oppenant’s wives alive.

Here is a flash back to last year’s election from Zimbabwe.

The Mugabe political team who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.

An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.

The killing last Friday – one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime since independence in 1980 – was carried out on a wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark was to chop off hands and feet.

Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.

That news report was from London. You may not have read that in the U.S. newspapers. 

Back to Global Warming. I doubt that burning bodies alive cause that much CO2. Al Gore and the UN can forgive this one transgression from President Mugabe. 

Mick Gregory

Volcanoes put out 1,000 times more CO2 than all of the autos in the world (excluding China, Russia and India). In deed, Mount Pinatubo pumped out more CO2 in its 1991 erruption than all of the man-made emmissions since the beginning of time. And there are volcanic erruptions occuring daily all over the world. That proof is graphiclly displayed in glacier ice core drillings that go back 300,000 years. The year after Pinatubo, the CO2 frozen in the ice spiked to astounding levels.

Did Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” mention any of this? More importantly, did your daily LA Times, New York Times, SF Chronicle or Houston Chronicle report this?

This is a weekly report from Universal Weather, a Houston-based, high-tech air and weather service:

Etna, Italy has an ash cloud from 18,000 feet to the surface, moving toward the north at 25 knots. Ubinas, Peru has an ash cloud from 27,000 to 18,000 feet, moving toward the west at 15 knots. Tungurahua, Ecuador has an ash cloud from 20,000 to 16,000 feet, moving toward the southwest at 10 knots. Batu Tara, Lesser Sunda Island, Indonesia has an ash cloud from 5,000 feet to the surface, moving toward the northeast at 10 knots.

These are just the volacones that are in aviation traffic lanes. There are in fact 25 volcanoes errupting every week throughout the planet every week. This has been recorded since 1965.

Isn’t it time to call your local Democrat party politician and tell him/her that you are sick and tired of the propaganda and that you will never vote for the party of Big Brother/Big Sis government again?

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http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30511.html

The Goracle speaks about global warming to our leaders

During a rare snow and ice storm in Washington DC on Jan. 28, the Goracle  (Al Gore) spoke of the crisis of man-made global warming.

 

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

This story by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post will  be  the turning point on the greatest hoax of the last 100 years.

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, January 29, 2009; A03

 

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth —

and this is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions. “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate

vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy,” he beseeched.

“Geothermal energy,” the Goracle prophesied. “This has great potential; it is not very far off.”

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. “I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand,” the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future — and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. “The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it,” he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases

such as “unified national smart grid” the way he once did “no controlling legal authority” — and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes.

“Tennessee,” gushed Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Gore’s home state, “has a legacy of having people here in the Senate and in public service that have been of major

consequence and contributed in a major way to the public debate, and you no doubt have helped build that legacy.” If that wasn’t quite enough, Corker added: “Very much enjoyed your

sense of humor, too.”

Humor? From Al Gore? “I benefit from low expectations,” he replied.

The Goracle’s powers seem to come from his ability to scare the bejesus out of people. “We must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization,” he

said. And: “This is the most serious challenge the world has ever faced.” And: It “could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force.”

Though some lawmakers tangled with Gore on his last visit to Capitol Hill, none did on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican, agreed that

there will be “an almost existential impact” from the climate changes Gore described.

As such, the Goracle, even when questioned, was shown great deference. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), challenging Gore over spent nuclear fuel, began by saying: “I stand to be corrected,

and I defer to your position, you’re probably right, and I’m probably wrong.” He ended his question by saying: “I’m not questioning you; I’m questioning myself.”

Others sought to buy the Goracle’s favor by offering him gifts. “Thank you for your incredible leadership; you make this crystalline for those who don’t either understand it or want to

understand it,” gushed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who went on to ask: “Will you join me this summer at the Jersey Shore?”

The chairman worried that the Goracle may have been offended by “naysayers” who thought it funny that Gore’s testimony before the committee came on a morning after a snow-and-ice

storm in the capital. “The little snow in Washington does nothing to diminish the reality of the crisis,” Kerry said at the start of the hearing.

The climate was well controlled inside the hearing room, although Gore, suffering from a case of personal climate change, perspired heavily during his testimony. The Goracle presented

the latest version of his climate-change slide show to the senators: a globe with yellow and red blotches, a house falling into water, and ones with obscure titles such as “Warming

Impacts Ugandan Coffee Growing Region.” At one point he flashed a biblical passage on the screen, but he quickly removed it. “I’m not proselytizing,” he explained. A graphic showing a

disappearing rain forest was accompanied by construction noises.

The Goracle supplied abundant metaphors to accompany his visuals. Oil demand: “This roller coaster is headed for a crash, and we’re in the front car.” Polar ice: “Like a beating heart,

and the permanent ice looks almost like blood spilling out of a body along the eastern coast of Greenland.”

The lawmakers joined in. “There are a lot of ways to skin a cat,” contributed Isakson, who is unlikely to get the Humane Society endorsement. “And if we have the dire circumstances

we’re facing, we need to find every way to skin every cat.”

Mostly, however, the lawmakers took turns asking the Goracle for advice, as if playing with a Magic 8 Ball.

Lugar, a 32-year veteran of the Senate, asked Gore, as a “practical politician,” how to get the votes for climate-change legislation. “I am a recovering politician. I’m on about Step 9,” the

Goracle replied, before providing his vision.

Prospects for regulating a future carbon emissions market? “There’s a high degree of confidence.” The future of automobiles in China and India? “I wouldn’t give up on electric vehicles.”

The potential of solar power in those countries? “I have no question about it at all.”

Of course not. He’s the Goracle. He and his entourage jetted to Davos, Switzerland! 

He can afford his carbon credits, he owns the company. It’s like the Stienbrenners “buying” tickets to see the New York Yankees. 

Now the famous NASA “climate change scientist” has been disgraced.

One of Al Gore’s favorite salesman is  James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute. Hansen’s former boss, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, has come forward with some news … Theon is skeptic of man-made global warming and his former employee James Hansen is an embarrassment to NASA. Theon says, “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made.” He goes on to say, “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

There’s more to chew on here,  it is good to find out who is on the  Al Gore PR payroll.

It’s patriotic to pay more taxes? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Joe, there you go again!

She connected with the West and Midwest.

Sarah stood toe to toe with an old Democrat who has been in Congress since she was in second grade.

“This was a knockout. She did the best of any debate I’ve ever seen.” — Rudy Guliani

She is more than qualified. She is a maverick governor of a large, important state.

She uses plain talk.

“McCain rang the warning bell in 2005. The Democrat Party ignored that warning and shut it off. That’s why we are in the financial bail out we are in,” Sarah Palin.

Create jobs, lower taxes, end the war with victory…

— Sarah Palin

Look, $180 billion to Kenya’s poor?

Energy independence.

I can’t wait to get to work there.

Did Joe Biden’s kids go to public schools? Did Clinton’s? Did Kerry’s? Did Obama’s?

Why do the teachers unions send their dues to Democrat elitists?

Joe there you go again.

Our schools need to be ramped up. Palin comes from a family of school teachers. Increase the standards.

“We need people from middle America’s opinions. They know what hard work and morals are about.”

“I’m totally blown away,” Senator Fred Thomson.

I’m so happy for her. She has been made to look like a bafoon. She has placed shame on a lot of people if they are capable of shame,” Thomson.

Obama said he would sit down with Amadidajon.

Biden said he was against coal. All coal in the U.S.

Try and say the following with a straight face to a liberal friend:

Senator Biden made the performance of a lifetime. He is substanitive, presidential and has gravitas. Sarah Palin, the hockey mom, pitbull with lipstick was an embarassment. What does she know about governing? She was an embarassment!”

To the big-spending, do-nothing congress: Change is coming

Sen. John McCain’s blockbuster line: “Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first-country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming.”

It’s not “global warming” climate change John McCain is talking about, it’s a red-state tide coming in to take back America from European socialists. Democrats, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Change is coming.

Change is coming.

Bump from Biden. Not so much.

Pew, NYT, Gallup, Rasmussen, CNN, CNBC and Huffington Post are all scrambling to get a poll out showing a spike in support for their Obama/Biden dream ticket. But so far, silence. That means no bump. Hillary still has a chance in Denver next week.

In fact, Gallup shows McCain up! Can Hillary do anything about it?

It’s official: Barack Obama has received no bounce in voter support out of his selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.

Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Aug. 23-25, the first three-day period falling entirely after Obama’s Saturday morning vice presidential announcement, shows 46% of national registered voters backing John McCain and 44% supporting Obama, not appreciably different from the previous week’s standing for both candidates. This is the first time since Obama clinched the nomination in early June, though, that McCain has held any kind of advantage over Obama in Gallup Poll Daily tracking.